- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin environmental officials are urging waterfront property owners to check for invasive species clinging to their docks and swimming rafts as they pull them out of the water for the winter.

State law requires anyone pulling a boat or other items such as docks, lifts and rafts out of the water to clean any plant and animal material stuck to the objects before transporting them to another location or water body. The law is designed to slow the spread of invasives.

Department of Natural Resources officials say the inspection process is as simply as visually examining areas that have been submerged and running a hand over those surfaces. If the object feels like sandpaper, the item may be infested with juvenile zebra mussels.

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