Fines to double for invasive species violations - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Fines to double for invasive species violations

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Fines for violating Minnesota's aquatic invasive species laws double Sunday when tougher laws take effect.

Minnesota law prohibits the possession or transport of any aquatic invasive species, including zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny waterfleas.

The Department of Natural Resources says the violation rate among Minnesota boaters and anglers is at an unacceptable 20 percent.

Failure to remove a drain plug while transporting a watercraft will mean a $100 fine instead of a $50. The fine for unlawfully possessing and transporting prohibited species will jump from $250 to $500.

Boaters and anglers are required to clean aquatic plants and animals off their boats, trailers and equipment; to drain their bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access; and to keep drain plugs out while transporting water-related equipment.

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