The Independence Day weekend ahead is one of the busiest of the Minnesota boating and fishing season. The Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone to plan a little extra time for making sure boats and equipment are clean going in and clean coming out of lakes and rivers to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
“Clean In, Clean Out” zones are stenciled onto special areas at many accesses where boaters can pull off and make sure they aren’t transporting aquatic invasive species. To protect the state’s waters from the spread of invasive species and the environmental, recreational and economic damage they cause, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:
Clean their watercraft 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.
“With many accesses busier than usual, we’re asking everyone to be patient and practice ‘Minnesota Nice’ this Independence Day weekend,” said Adam Doll, DNR watercraft inspection program coordinator. “There are also more DNR-trained watercraft inspectors and more decontamination units than ever before, all helping keep 95 percent of Minnesota lakes off the infested waters list.”
Watercraft inspectors check to ensure that boaters and anglers follow clean, drain, dispose laws and may deny access if necessary. Decontamination stations provide a free and thorough process of removing aquatic plant and animals.
More information, including a 30-second public service announcement about stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species, is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.