By NIKKI YOUNK
FLORENCE, Wis. - The appearance of zebra mussels and milfoil in the Spread Eagle Chain of Lakes has prompted the Spread Eagle Chain of Lakes Association (SECOLA) to ask the Florence County Board of Supervisors for help in forming a coalition to fight invasive species in lakes across the county.
SECOLA members Glen Johnson and David Pasahow addressed the board at its Tuesday meeting.
"We've put a lot of hours and money into invasive species education, but it didn't prevent them from coming in," said Johnson. "There's got to be something else we can do."
Pasahow suggested that all interested parties work together on a county-wide level.
"We could just work locally at the Spread Eagle lakes, but wouldn't it be better to combine our efforts?" he asked. "We're here to ask, how can we help you?"
Other Florence County lakes that have documented invasive species are Lake Ellwood, Frog Lake, Seidel Lake, and Keyes Lake.
Pasahow proposed several ideas, such as constructing a centrally-located boat wash or implementing county ordinances requiring boaters to use a boat wash and/or pay a boat launch fee.
Board Chair Jeanette Bomberg agreed that the board, SECOLA, the Florence County Land Conservation Committee, the Florence Town Board, and the Florence County Economic Development Commission should gather for a meeting on the issue.
"We're all in this together," she said.
Bomberg added that they should also look into state funding, as approximately $4 million may be budgeted for the fight against invasive species.
The board took no action on the issue.
In other business, the board:
- Amended the County Code of Ordinances to include a prohibition of "power loading" at county boat landings.
Power loading involves using a boat's motor to unload or load a boat off or onto a trailer. It can wash out the landings or create deep holes at the end of the landings.
Supervisor Ed Wenger voted against the motion, saying that power loading should not be a problem if boat landings are properly installed.
- Ratified the Florence County Deputy Sheriff's Association contract for 2012 and 2013.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.