Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are non-native aquatic plants, animals, algae, or viruses that can have a significant impact on the natural environment, the economy, and culturally significant resources of our lake. Each species poses a unique risk with some species having a higher impact than others.

AIS in Des Moines Lake

Banded Mystery Snail

Up to 1.5” tall, dark brown horizontal bands. The rest of the shell may be white due to sun bleaching.

Impacts are poorly understood, but they do tend to outcompete our native brown mystery snails.

Simply more numerous and aggressive than our native snails.

Control: None
Banded Mystery Snail

Purple Loosestrife

Imported from Europe for gardens in the late 19th century, Purple Loosestrife will crowd out native wetland and shoreland species.

It is known to form a monoculture, becoming the only plant species growing in the area.

It spreads rapidly and fragmentation of the plant can sprout new colonies.

Read more about Purple Loosestrife Management on Des Moines Lake.

Control: Manual removal, herbicide, or biocontrol
Purple Loosestrife

Chinese Mystery Snail

Up to 3” in length and a uniform brown color. Sometimes covered in algae.

Impacts are poorly understood, but they do tend to outcompete our native brown mystery snails.

At the peak of the cycle their numbers may become a nuisance.

Control: None
Chinese Mystery Snail

AIS in Burnett County

Burnett County has participated in AIS education, prevention, and control efforts for decades. Fortunately with these efforts and the participation of residents, Burnett County has relatively few forms of AIS when compared to other regions of Wisconsin. Read more in the 2020 annual AIS report prepared by Thomas Boisvert.

AIS Prevention

Burnett County Decontamination Ordinance

Every boat and trailer, including those only used on Des Moines Lake, must be decontaminated before entry and after exit.

If a decontamination station is available for use at a public or private access, the boater shall decontaminate per posted directions using the decontamination station provided” – Chapter 18, Article 5 – Burnett County Decontamination Ordinance.

Read more about Des Moines Lake’s Decontamination Station.

Clean Boats, Clean Waters

The Clean Boats, Clean Waters watercraft inspection program is an opportunity to take a front line defense against the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Through the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, inspectors are trained to organize and conduct a boater education program in their community.

Inspectors perform boat and trailer checks for invasive species,distribute informational brochures and collect and report any new water body infestations.

WDNR Regulations

  • Inspect boats, trailers, and equipment.
  • Remove all attached aquatic plants and animals.
  • Drain all water from boats, vehicles, and equipment.
  • Never move plants or live fish away from a waterbody.