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ILIDS technology used in fight against AIS

Environmental Sentry Protection, LLC’s technology (ILIDS) is being installed this spring at two boat ramps for the Roosevelt And Lawrence Area Lakes Association (RALALA) in Outing/Emily.

Paid for by RALALA and installed in coordination with Crooked Lake Township (CLT) (at Luscher Park) and the Department of Natural Resources (at Highway 6 Roosevelt), the devices increase and improve the contacts with boaters and water users.

The system is “activated” by a boat or vehicle approaching the boat ramp, whether launching or recovering a watercraft.

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The ILIDS device — standing about 30 inches tall, anchored into the ground, and made of hardened metal — provides a recorded message (audible within a range of 20 feet) to the vehicle’s operator as they approach. It reminds them of aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention efforts, and captures visual images of the trailer and boat to help observe practices at the launch.

In addition, there is signage to help spread the word about preventing the spread of AIS, especially zebra mussels.

The system also transmits information to a separate monitoring function, where images are stored for appropriate review by trained personnel.

As the firm’s website states: “Prevention requires monitoring of boat launches to lakes. Effective training and procedures for volunteers and paid workers exist. Many lakes have commitments to monitor the launches several weekends out of the summer. While in-person monitoring is ideal, challenges such as costs, availability, scheduling and training exist. To reduce the risk of (contamination by) a visitor launching at an odd hour, it’s important to be on duty all the time.”

RALALA President Bob Lee responded to local residents’ questions by stating: “I am confident we can adjust the sound level so that it will not be intrusive. We do want it to operate at night, because we believe there is significant numbers of night launches based on data collected by other ILIDs in operation.”

CLT Board chairman Lloyd Thyen said, “When the CLT Board approved the installation of the device by RALALA, I assure you it was assumed that the sound would not ‘disturb the peace,’ day or night ... but the very bottom line in this case is that if the sound from the device is considered unreasonable ... the sound will be turned off, or the authorization for the installation rescinded by the board.”

These devices have been used in numerous areas of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and use began in 2013 at Ruth Lake in Emily. The results have been significant in educating users. They have also assisted the DNR in following up with boaters who had been less careful than required in managing their watercraft while entering or leaving the lake.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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