Sportsmen’s Club Adjusts AIS Prevention Plans After Spiny Waterfleas Found

The Sportsmen’s Club of Lake Vermilion (SCLV) will be expanding its launch-site boat inspection and education procedures after the Minnesota DNR recently confirmed the presence of spiny waterfleas in Lake Vermilion’s east basin.

“We are clearly disappointed to find spiny waterfleas in Lake Vermilion. To slow their spread to other areas of the lake, our volunteer inspectors will continue to look for “spinies” as boats launch at Vermilion,” said Jeff Lovgren, Sportsmen’s Club president. “In addition, we must now put an increased emphasis on being sure no Lake Vermilion water is carried by a trailered boat to another lake. We will be talking more to boat operators about the importance of draining all residual water as they leave our lake, clearing aeration lines for bait and live wells, and cleaning and drying fishing equipment, like nets and downrigger cables.”

Spiny waterfleas frequently spread from lake to lake by hitchhiking in bait buckets and live wells which are not completely dry.

Spiny waterfleas are tiny 3/8” planktonic crustaceans that consume large numbers of smaller zooplankton, disrupting the food source for young-of-the-year fish. Rapid growth of juvenile fish during the first summer improves winter survival.

Individual “spinies” are difficult to see but can accumulate as a noticeable gelatinous glob with protruding spines (tails) on fishing line, downrigger cables or anchor lines. The SCLV will soon make identification cards and sample collection kits available to boat operators at Lake Vermilion’s 54 public and resort launch sites.

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