Dane County Office of Lakes & Watersheds
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Clean Boats, Clean Waters

Warner Park boat inspection

Help Stop the Spread of Invasive Species!

For the third year, Dane County is actively participating in the statewide Clean Boats, Clean Waters program to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Look for our inspectors Gary, Kayla, and Luke at boat landings, where they are talking with boaters about the aquatic invasives prevention steps: 1) inspect boats, 2) remove plants, 3) drain all water from boat and equipment, and 4) never move plants or live fish away from a waterbody. Staff inspected 4,400 boats in 2011 and 2,900 boats in 2012, and contacted 4,600 people each year.

Read more about our 2013 staff and their experiences below.


Gary Harper

Gary Harper

I have fished in Wisconsin for 50 years and have seen the changes in our lakes and streams, so when this opportunity for the inspector job came up I was all for it. So far I have met a lot of wonderful people more than willing to help with stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species. I have also met some people who think it's too late to save the lakes or they only use one or two lakes so they only put invasive species in the lake they came out of . This gives me the opportunity to go over some important things they may not know or have heard of (e.g., you are subject to laws for having lake water in and/or weeds on your boat or trailer). My view on this is if we can save one lake or stream for our children and their children to have a clean, safe place to swim and fish like we had as kids; then the hours, weekends and holidays spent at the boat landings will be well spent.

Clean Boats, Clean Water!


Kayla Offenbecher

Kayla Offenbecher

I have spent the last two years studying at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater as a biology major. I was learning everything from cell composition to current environmental concerns. In classes I am always most interested when we talk about what is happening now, both globally and locally, the impacts it will have, and how we can improve things.

So, when I came across the job listing for the aquatic invasive species inspector position, I decided this would be a perfect way to get out there and help improve things locally. Turns out this job has been a great learning experience; I have learned a great deal from working with Dane County and from talking with local boaters.

I love knowing that by being out there and talking to boaters, I am giving them the information they need to help us keep our wonderful lakes clean for everyone.


Luke Vosberg

Luke Vosberg

I just finished my senior year at UW-Madison. I am pursuing a degree in history and environmental studies. My internship with the Land and Water Resources Department allows me to gain experience in the environmental field as well as enjoy the beautiful weather and lakes that Wisconsin has to offer. Being out on the boat landings around the county has allowed me to meet a wide variety of people and gain information that is very useful for the county. The Clean Boats, Clean Waters program has advanced my knowledge about laws that are in place to protect the lakes. This internship will hopefully be a step on my way to a future career in the environmental field, and for that reason it is a great opportunity for me.

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Yahara Waterways Trail Guide The Yahara Waterways Water Trail Guide is a great resource for exploring our area waters.