On July 1, 2019, the Property Committee of the Barron County Board of Supervisors passed an order requiring the use of a decontamination station, if there is one available, at the landing before launching and after loading of boats to prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species.
Zebra mussels have been found in many waters within an afternoon’s drive of Barron County including the Mississippi River, the St. Louis River in Duluth, the Fox River and Lake Winnebago, and the Wisconsin River.
Once zebra mussels are in a lake, there is no way to control them. They severely disrupt the food chain and create hazards for swimmers with their sharp shells.
Several lake associations in Barron County have been proactive regarding this issue with the installation of decontamination stations. So far, Silver Lake, Bear Lake, and Sand Lake have stations in place. At these stations you will find a sprayer of a mild (1 ounce per gallon) bleach solution. Simply spray it on your boat, trailer, and in the livewell and bilge, and leave it sit for 10 minutes before launching. So, spray the boat as soon as you get to the landing, and by the time things are ready to go, the bleach will have done its job.
If you boat on waters outside of Barron County, please decontaminate your boat at home using the same solution. Even a dry boat will still have areas of water, and the larvae can live for more than a week in these areas.
If a lake association or district is interested in establishing a decontamination station, please contact Tyler Gruetzmacher, County Conservationist, at t email@example.com or 715-537-6246.