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Three public boat landings on Lac Courte Oreilles assist the public in launching and retrieving their boats all summer long. There is a launch on Victory Heights (Town of Sand Lake) in the west basin; anther launch in Anchor Bay (Town of Bass Lake) in the East Basin; and the primary launch (Lac Courte Oreilles Access), also known as the DNR ramp in Chicago Bay in the central basin. Both the Victory Heights and Anchor Bay ramps serve the immediate neighborhoods and are primarily used by the local populations. The WDNR Chicago Bay ramp is used by lake visitors—and that is why COLA monitors it for aquatic invasive species.

The cost of monitoring the Chicago Bay ramp approaches $6,000 per year. The WDNR Clean Boats, Clean Waters Program provides grants of up to $4,000 to carry out such activities with in-kind matching from grant participants.

The program averages about 32 hours per week, Thursday through Sunday. The Clean Boat Inspector(s) are on hand to check boats and trailers for the presence of invasive aquatic plants and animals such as Curly Leaf Pondweed, Eurasian Watermilfoil, zebra mussels, and others. See Issue #22 of Short Ears, Long Tales for more about how COLA manages the inspections at LCO boat landings.

We all can do our part helping protect not only the Lac Courte Oreilles lakes, but the other area lakes. Remember, invasive are present in LCO and could be on your boat when you leave. Don’t spread them.