If I'm not correct, it has been a few years since the DNR found this snakehead on the Rock River. I haven't heard anything about it since, so hopefully the exotic hasn't started a population on the river or spread to other bodies of water.
In the Northwoods boaters and anglers need to be aware of several exotics and invasive species including VHS, Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) and zebra muscles, among several others.
VHS is the most current and could start appearing this spring, since the fish virus is most destructive when water temps reach the 40s and 50s and fish are most stressed during spawning. The disease kills almost every species of fish. It causes fish to have a bleeding look and bulging eyes. The virus has been found in Lake Michigan (believed to be in Lake Superior) and the Lake Winnebago chain. Boaters are asked to disinfect their boats with bleach and wait five days before going on another body of water in order to not transfer VHS. If you see any fish with these conditions this spring, call the DNR's 24-hour hotline at 1-800-TIP-WDNR.
EWM has been in Wisconsin for over a decade and since has infected over 400 lakes. It only takes 1/8 inch of the aquatic invasive species to spread, so keeping boats and boats trailers clean and not moving water from lake to lake is crucial.
Making sure water isn't transported also will help stop the spread of zebra muscles. This invasive species has infected many Wisconsin inland lakes since first appearing in Lake Michigan.
There's other invasive species like flying carp and the goobies in Lake Michigan, but the above mentioned pose the greatest current threats to our Northwoods waters. The most important thing we can do as water enthusiasts and anglers is to not transfer water or move weeds from lake to lake.
The DNR Spring Rule Hearings will be taking place on Monday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in all 72 counties in the state. As part of the coinciding state Conservation Congress County Hearings, voters will be asked a question that deals with the transfer of invasive species.Take time to express your concern at your local hearing and we all can help do our part in protecting our waters.