The opportunities for you to hunt waterfowl species like geese and ducks in Door and Kewaunee counties are opening up, but you’ll want to take steps to make sure you’re not bringing extra species back home with you. Making sure to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species is one of the most important things you can do to help sustain the local migratory bird population.
When forming your setup and covering your blind, it’s best that you remove all roots and seeds from the vegetation being used. After hunting, you’ll want to make sure you do a thorough clean before even leaving your access point. That includes draining water from your decoys and boat motor. You’ll also want to clean your trailer, waiters, boat, blind, boots, and dog if you brought one. Once you get home, you’re advised to do another clean, and one inexpensive object to help is a boot brush.
Narrow-leaf cattails are one non-native species to be mindful of, as they will be the most prevalent for Wisconsin waterfowl hunters. Non-native phragmites, or “reed grass,” which is popular for people to put on their blinds, is a concern because it grows easily, according to Jeanne Scherer, an aquatic invasive species outreach specialist with UW-Extension.
Another concerning invasive species is faucet snails, which can cause internal organ failure and hemorrhages to the birds that diet on them. Another point of emphasis Scherer says is to remove as much mud as possible from everything you use as that can contain have tiny animals or seeds hidden in it. You can click here for more resources on aquatic invasive species and here for a video showing how you can prevent aquatic invasive species spread.