Subscribe | E-Editions | River News 75 | Super Shopper - FREE | About Us | Contact Us | FREE Classified Items Under $50
The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Flanders Realty Group

home : outdoors : outdoor news
August 17, 2019

7/13/2019 7:30:00 AM
The Lake Where You Live
Is technology an answer?
Ted Rulseh
Columnist

Suppose you own a beautiful house in an area where, you've recently learned, there is a substantial risk of burglary or vandalism.

You can't be there all the time. So to protect your place during times when you're gone, you hire a couple of 19-year-olds to watch over it - maybe four hours a day on weekends, and only in summer, because that's all you can afford. Or, you do nothing and just take your chances.

That is the position our lakes are in when it comes to invasive species and the monitoring of boats coming to the landings. That's appalling, given the risk of severe and long-lasting consequences.

Just one irresponsible person towing a boat could introduce spiny water flea, zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, or some other destructive pest. Clean Boats Clean Waters education is great, but no one with any sense believes that alone will suffice.

The landing at my lake (semi-private, low traffic) is unprotected except for some aged signage. At a couple of my favorite fishing lakes, I've never seen a CBCW volunteer.

DNR funds for monitoring landings are limited, and rare is the lake association that can support full-time monitoring. So what's the solution? Quite possibly it includes technology.

A system call I-LIDS (Internet Landing Installed Device Sensor) provides a measure of protection. Boaters see signs telling them the landing is monitored and describing how to inspect and clean their boat and trailer. At the same time a video system looks for aquatic species attached and watches how the owner cleans the watercraft.

Authorized users then can log into a website to get statistics on landing activity and play back video of the launches. The system, from Environmental Sentry Protection (ESP), has the advantage of being full-time.

What are the objections to such a system? Well, it's a significant investment. Some people are adverse, in general, to being video-recorded. There's also concern in some quarters that technology at landings would detract from their natural aesthetic appeal.

But how much water do these arguments hold? The cost-benefit ratio tilts heavily in favor of always-on landing monitoring - just look at the calamities that befall some lakes when invasives come in. As for privacy, isn't being video monitored a small sacrifice to make to help protect the Northwoods' most valuable resources. As for aesthetics, who goes to a landing to experience its beauty?

How does your lake group monitor the boat landings? Would you consider technology such as I have described? It's worth serious thought. Contaminated boats are out there. Odds are your lake's landing is like an unlocked, open door, a welcome mat for intruders. When looked at that way, a little technology seems like a worthy investment.

Next, some enterprising young mechanical engineer needs to invent a portable pressure washer for cleaning boats, able to run off a car-based power inverter and use lake water - price under $200 and affordable to boat owners and a standard part of new-boat packages. That would provide an extra measure of safety for our lakes.

Ted Rulseh resides on Birch Lake in Harshaw and is an advocate for lake protection and improvement. His Lakeland Times and Northwoods River News columns are the basis for a book, "A Lakeside Companion," published by The University of Wisconsin Press. Ted may be reached at trulseh@tjrcommunications.com.





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, and meet the comment guidelines (see "Comment Guidelines" at right). There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search
search sponsored by



Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE


Today's Circulars
Print-N-Save Coupons
Order photo reprints

Classifieds
Advertising Information

Community Connections
Submit to Newspaper...

Ced Vig's books for sale
Kris Gilbertson's 'I Recall...'

Twitter
Relay for Life









Life
Facebook | All Things | Wisconsin Lottery | The Lakeland Times - affiliate | Winter Road Conditions | Snow/Trail Conditions


The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121
Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce

Site Design and Content | Copyright 2019 1up!

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved