Register for the Virtual Itasca Aquatic Invasive Species Summit 2021 by Fri March 19th

Mar 18, 2021

2021 Itasca AIS Summit to be held March 24 via Zoom

Grand Rapids, MN  (Mar. 4, 2021) — The Itasca County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program announced today that it will host the 2021 Itasca AIS Summit from 9-11am Wednesday, March 24 via Zoom.  The Summit features well-known fishing guide Tom Neustrom, who will speak about “The Future of Our Lakes in Itasca County.”    

The 2021 Summit invites and gathers representatives from area resorts, camps, campgrounds, lake service providers, fishing guides, marine dealers, bait shops, Itasca County AIS detectors, and members and representatives of local lake associations.  There is no cost to register.  Attendees are asked to RSVP by Friday March 19 so the Itasca AIS Program can send attendees a Zoom meeting invitation.  No special hardware, software, or equipment necessary to participate -- just a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, mobile phone, or landline telephone.       

The purpose of the Summit is to help prevent the introduction and limit the spread of aquatic invasives in Itasca County.  The AIS Program seeks to create trust-based relationships with Itasca area businesses who have a role in AIS prevention, including resorts, lake service providers, bait shops, fishing guides.  The Summit will include discussion about AIS best practices and exchange information helpful to area water-related business owners or their representatives.  Topics include new developments for AIS in Itasca County, how the Itasca AIS Program and area businesses can work together to help prevent the spread of AIS, and Tom Neustrom’s presentation on the future of our Itasca County lakes.    

RSVP by Friday, March 19 to receive a Zoom Meeting invitation.  To RSVP, simply send an email to Bill Grantges, Itasca AIS Coordinator at coordinator@ItascaAIS.info or call 218-256-4243.  The Itasca Area AIS Summit Flyer is available to download at http://bit.ly/ItascaAISSummit.

The Summit is sponsored by the Itasca AIS Program, Itasca Waters, and several area lake associations including Wabana Chain, Deer Lake, Greater Pokegama, Swan Lake, Siseebakwet Lake, and the Itasca Coalition of Lake Associations.

Bill Grantges, Itasca County AIS Program Coordinator, said:  "We appreciate and are grateful for resorts, lake service providers, marine dealers, bait shops, and fishing guides that provide jobs and services for residents and visitors, while contributing to the effort to limit the spread of zebra mussels, starry stonewort, and other invasives.  We want to partner with area businesses to help prevent the spread of AIS, hear their concerns, and invite participation.”

Almost always, new lakes and rivers are infested unwittingly.  Aquatic invasives are not moved by waterfowl or other wildlife.  AIS are moved by us.  We move AIS from one lake or river to another via boats, trailers, bilge, live-well, bait-container, fishing gear, docks, lifts, swim-rafts, float planes, and recreational gear.  We all have a prevention role … property owners, recreational boaters, anglers, guests, visitors, and the businesses that service us, including lake service providers, marine dealers, resorts, camps, campgrounds, bait-shops, rental shops, and other similar businesses.

Anglers, recreational boaters, property owners, guests, and visitors can help prevent new AIS infestations by practicing Clean, Drain, Dispose, and Dry.  When you land your boat, thoroughly inspect it.  Remove weeds and mud.  Drain standing water.  Empty live-wells and bait-containers on shore.  Know what lakes contain which AIS.  If the waters you’re exiting include AIS, dry your boat in the sun for at least five days before launching in another lake.  If you don’t have five days, decontaminate your boat and trailer before launching.  The Itasca AIS Program will decontaminate your boat for free.  Call 218-256-4243 for the nearest decontamination station location.  For more information about the Itasca County AIS Program see www.ItascaAIS.Info

For a specific comprehensive description for what lake and river property owners and guests can do to prevent the spread of AIS, see http://bit.ly/AISItasca    

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About the Itasca County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program

The Itasca County AIS Program is funded by the State of Minnesota and managed by the Itasca County Soil and Water Conservation District, and serves to prevent the introduction and limit the spread of aquatic invasive species in Itasca County waters, including zebra mussels, starry stonewort, and spiny water flea.  www.ItascaAIS.Info  Contact:  Bill Grantges, 218-256-4243

About Tom Neustrom

Tom Neustrom is one of the best fishing guides in Minnesota and a tireless promoter of the fishing industry with 38 years of experience.  Tom is well known for providing customers with memorable guided fishing trips with excellent walleye fishing, trophy northern pike, largemouth bass and small mouth bass, jumbo perch, crappies, and panfish.  Tom spends the majority of open water season guiding customers, outdoor writers, and sponsors to memorable days on the lakes and rivers of Minnesota.  Off the water and ice, Tom spends much of his time leading fishing seminars, writing articles, doing in-store promotions, attending Minnesota DNR meetings, and working with the DNR as a board member of the MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation and Coalition, all to share his fishing expertise with others.  Tom has been recognized by Linder’s Media, In-Fisherman, North American Fishing Club, Fishing Facts Magazine, and Minnesota Sportsman as one of the top walleye fishing guides in the country. In 2009 Tom was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as a Legendary Guide which is a great honor as only two guides are inducted each year throughout the entire country. In 2016 Tom was inducted into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame. Working closely with numerous publications, Tom writes from his home in Grand Rapids, MN and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise in the sport of fishing.  https://www.mnfishingconnections.com