Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Program

The Nebraska Invasive Species Program (NISP) continues to administer a multi-institutional Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Program with grant funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Goals

1. Decrease the risk of aquatic invasive species introduction into Nebraska by implementing a boat inspections and decontamination program;
2. Increase public awareness of AIS through an integrated outreach and education program;
3. Continue AIS monitoring to help focus prevention efforts;
4. Increase local and regional collaboration in the prevention of AIS.

Current Status

Annual grant funding was secured by the NISP from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to fund AIS prevention and outreach efforts in Nebraska. One method used to aid in the prevention of AIS was by conducting boater surveys annually from 2012-2018 at high-risk waterbodies to gauge AIS awareness, prevention behaviors and watercraft movements. In addition, the NISP Coordinator has annually trained Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) AIS  technicians to use tablets to document watercraft inspections and give away educational brochures and other educational materials to the public. Watercraft inspection data entered into tablets is uploaded to the Western Data Sharing System. This data allows inspectors to review previous inspection and decontaminations that a watercraft has undergone. Another tool used by the NISP provided boat launch signs to NGPC and private lakes to be posted at the waterbodies as a reminder of how to prevent the spread of AIS. The NISP Coordinator also served on regional AIS panels to coordinate AIS prevention efforts across state lines. 

Nebraska has four waterbodies that tested positive for zebra mussels which include: Lewis & Clark Lake, Missouri River, Offutt Air Force Base Lake, and Glenn Cunningham Lake. Glenn Cunningham was drawn down in 2018 to freeze and kill a newly established zebra mussel infestation. It will be regularly sampled and monitored to determine if the eradication effort was successful. NISP has many tools to educate the public and to help prevent the spread of AIS; one such tool is giving presentations to a variety of audiences throughout the state. Another tool used in AIS prevention is running ads in NGPC’s boating and fishing guides. Additionally, the NISP created and continues to fund two billboards at Lake McConaughy to increase the public’s knowledge of how they can prevent the spread of AIS. Another tool used to prevent AIS is the NISP’s CD3 waterless watercraft cleaning station at Lewis and Clark Lake which is monitored through an online platform.

 



Project Website
AIS Prevention Program
Boat Inspection. Photo: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Boat Inspection. Photo: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
CD3 unit at Weigland Marina, Crofton, NE. Photo: Allison Zach
CD3 unit at Weigland Marina, Crofton, NE. Photo: Allison Zach
Principal Investigator(s)
-Kevin L. Pope

Project Coordinator(s)
Allison Zach

Project Duration
April 2011 - December 2022

Funding
-USFWS Aquatic Nuisance Species Taskforce
-Nebraska Public Power District

Project Location
Statewide Nebraska
Cooperators