DNR NEWS -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 10, 2014
DNR: Too many boaters not following aquatic invasive species laws
This summer, the Department of Natural Resources is finding too many boaters and other water users taking unacceptable and illegal risks by transporting aquatic invasive species (AIS).
So far this season, watercraft inspectors have found more than 1,300 boaters at public water accesses with aquatic plants, invasive animals or water in or on their boats and equipment. If not stopped, these boaters could have infested other lakes.
In addition, DNR conservation officers have issued 169 citations and 375 warning tickets to boaters for AIS violations at enforcement check stations and public accesses. Fines range from $100 to $500.
Minnesota currently has 175 water bodies infested with zebra mussels.
“Every new infestation is extremely serious,” said Ann Pierce, DNR section manager for Ecological and Water Resources. “This means that it’s important for people to take responsibility, follow the laws, and protect the remaining more than 10,000 Minnesota waters. It’s still well worth the effort to protect the uncontaminated water bodies.”
In Minnesota is it illegal to:
All DNR-trained watercraft inspectors stationed around the state are authorized to help ensure boats and trailers are clean and free of AIS before entering or leaving a lake, river or other body of water. Whether they work for the DNR, or for a county or other local unit of government, inspectors are there to help make sure boaters are not in violation of AIS laws and protect our lakes and rivers.
The DNR has 23 decontamination units at various bodies of water in Minnesota. The agency concentrates inspectors and decontamination efforts at high-use bodies of water that are currently infested with AIS.
More information, including a 25 minute video titled “Aquatic Invasive Species, Minnesota Waters at Risk,” is available at: www.mndnr.gov/AIS.