Patricia Shifferd, Secretary to the Washburn County Lakes and Rivers Association and a landowner in Chicog has provided us with a few words from their recent efforts.

“As many of you are aware, the terribly invasive zebra mussel has been found in Big Mackenzie and Middle Mackenzie lakes.  This organism has the ability to severely compromise the ability of people to enjoy their lake since they can foul beaches, harm to whole lake ecosystem, and potentially lead to loss of property values.  Since there is no way to effectively kill zebra mussels as of now, the only option is to control the spread from one lake or river to another.  A task force of citizens and agency representatives from Washburn and Burnett Counties has been hard at work to develop ways to help people learn about the risk and develop procedures to stop the spread. 

Unfortunately, the usual methods of cleaning boats as they come and go from lakes are not sufficient for zebra mussels.  While adult zebra mussels which are attached to a boat or dock can be seen and removed, the young of the species (called veligers) are microscopic.  So a person could spread the organism without even being aware they are doing it. 

However, there are ways to effectively clean boats and docks with high-pressure washers or by spraying boats/docks with a dilute mixture of bleach and water.  The latter method will not harm the water craft in that weak a solution.  Decontamination stations using one or other of these methods have been established on the affected lakes and may soon be found on other lakes which are susceptible to zebra mussel infestations.

In a coordinated effort, the county boards of Washburn and Burnett Counties are in the process of amending existing ordinances to require boaters to use decontamination stations if these are available.  The existing laws already make it illegal to transport aquatic invasive species from one water body to another.  So adding this additional effort will help retard the spread of zebra mussels.  Of course, decontamination stations are not available on most lakes as of now.  But as more such facilities are established, boaters are reminded to help the health of our lakes by washing their boats.  For those who like to explore different lakes, carrying a simple garden sprayer with 3 tablespoons of household bleach to a gallon of water will allow boat owners to help in this important effort.”


Library on websites of ZM information (5/12/17)

The Wisconsin DNR general facts,

Good source of information about Zebra Mussels:

“Washburn-Burnett Counties Mobilizing Against Zebra Mussels”. 

To see a video how to identify ZM on your dock:

Basic Facts from USGS:

DNR website discuss gear and methods:

Living on the lake may bring family and friends with their boats to enjoy your lake.  Do you know where to send your friends and family members who are bringing their boat to spend time on your lake so that they wash their boat if they have been in any of the areas where the red dots show in this website

How the zebra mussels moved over the USA and you will notice that our area of Wisconsin is clean from them…until last year.

“Protect Your Boat and Engine from Zebra Mussels” if you are in an infested lake,

Montana  Public Radio five episodes on "Subsurface: Resisting Montana's Underwater Invaders"

Zebra Mussel control procedures.  Here is a list:

Burnett County:  Dave Ferris 715.349.2186 Burnett County Land & Water; Bob Baker 715.349.8009 Burnett County Lakes & Rivers Association.

Washburn County:   Lisa Burns 715.468.4654 Washburn County Land & Water; Cathie Erickson 715.865.4406 Washburn County Lakes & Rivers Association.

DNR Wisconsin:  Report ZM potential sightings to Kris Larsen 715.635.4072; Another ZM DNR personnel - Pamela Toshner 715.635.4073

US Fish & Wildlife:  Dave Wedan 608.783.8435

Decontamination hot water high pressure West Point Resort on Big McKenzie: Call Lee Ledford 715.566.2457 (or Lisa Michelson) at 1150 West Point Road, Spooner, and ask him what the package program is to have boat decontaminated.

Boat Wash locations in the area:Spooner Auto Laundry: 701 S. River St., Spooner. 715.635.7433. Has self-service.  Door is 10 feet with most boats fitting.  High pressure cold water. Use quarters only; starts with $2.50 and just keep adding quarters.

Wild Bill’s Sporting Goods: 26798 Lakeland Ave. N, Webster 715.866.4220.  High pressure cold water.  Must use quarters only.Danbury carwash:  7403 Main St. E., Danbury. 218.721.2464. There is a height restriction.  Has high pressure cold water.  Currency use goes from quarters, $1, $5, or credit card.Link’s Carwash:  660 W. Hokah St., Minong. Do boats by hand. Call Adam directly at 715.466.1054 to learn about the pricing.