Canadian Forest Service Publications
Optimizing the location of watercraft inspection stations to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species. Haight, R.G., Kinsley, A.C., Kao, S.Y., Yemshanov, D., Phelps, N.B.D., Springer (2021).
Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 40483
Availability: PDF (download)
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Plain Language Summary
The accidental spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) by recreational boaters is a major concern of state and county environmental planners in the USA. While programs for watercraft inspection to educate boaters and slow AIS spread are common practice, large numbers of boats and waterbodies, together with limited budgets, make program design difficult. To facilitate program design, we developed an integer-programming model for allocation of scarce inspection resources among lakes. Our model uses species-specific infestation status of lakes and estimates of boat movement between lakes. The objective is to select lakes for inspection stations to maximize the number of risky boats inspected, where risky boats are ones that move from infested to uninfested lakes. We apply our model in Stearns County in central Minnesota, USA, to prioritize lakes for inspection stations and evaluate alternative management objectives. With an objective of protecting uninfested lakes within and outside Stearns County, the optimal policy is to locate stations at infested lakes having the most boats departing for uninfested lakes inside and outside the county. With an objective of protecting only Stearns County lakes, the optimal policy is to locate stations at both infested and uninfested lakes having the riskiest boats arriving from within and outside the county and departing to in-county lakes. The tradeoff between these objectives is significant.