Weekends around Independence Day are year’s busiest for boating
Partners at water access sites across Minnesota and throughout the Great Lakes region will conduct a targeted campaign through Sunday to inform boaters and others about aquatic invasive species.
Volunteer and paid inspectors will partner with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and other state and local agencies at hundreds of boat launches. They’ll provide information about aquatic invasive species prevention, identification, reporting, and local laws and regulations.
Similar events have been hosted by individual states and provinces in previous years, but this is the first year that all of the Great Lakes states and provinces are involved and coordinating efforts to maximize the event’s impact.
“This is the first time that these valuable educational events will be held simultaneously across the entire Great Lakes region,” said DNR Watercraft Inspection Program Coordinator Adam Doll. “It’s a chance to work directly with boaters and deliver a coordinated, regional message about the importance of AIS prevention during the busiest boating weekends of the year.”
Working with local communities and volunteers will be key to the success of the event, Doll said. “Boaters will have the opportunity to engage directly with volunteers in their community. Seeing community members taking time out of their day reinforces that it takes all of our efforts to help protect our lakes and rivers from the unwanted impacts of invasive species.”
Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:
• Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
• Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport.
• Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody:
• Spray with high-pressure water.
• Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
• Dry for at least five days.
More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais