DNR looks to slow the spread of invasive species - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

by Katie Lange

DNR looks to slow the spread of invasive species


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- There is new legislation aimed at slowing the spread of invasive species in Minnesota's lakes and rivers.

The Bill would allow the DNR to perform more boat inspections.

State officials say aquatic invasive species like Zebra Mussels and Asian Carp can change the ecology of lakes and rivers, as well as affect infrastructure, like locks and dams.

The legislation would also raise fees for boat and fishing licenses and penalties for violations.

So if you are looking to put your boat in the water this summer, there are some things you should be checking to make sure you're keeping the land of 10,000 lakes clean.

Stopping aquatic hitchhikers is the Minnesota DNR's hope.

Locally, Scott Kunz, with Universal Marine and RV says Lake George and the Mississippi River already have Asian-Milfoil and Lake Zumbro has a surplus of Zebra Mussels.

If you hope to take your boat out on the lake give yourself some extra time, so you can look over your watercraft.

Kunz said you should check your boat, as well as fishing poles and lures to make sure everything is free of any weeds.

"Any weed at all can not be moved from one lake to another.  It can't be taken out of the lake at all you have to get it off anchors, out of nets, off your boat and trailer anything that you're moving," said Kunz.

The DNR is also cracking down on transporting water from one lake to another. That means pulling the plug on your boat, emptying your live wells and even your bait buckets.

These laws apply to more than just folks who enjoy water sports, like fishing. It also encompasses sail boats, scuba diving gear and water fowl hunters.


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