Minnesota Anglers And Boaters Need To Pay Attention To Aquatic Invasive Species Laws
This weekend’s fishing opener comes with a reminder for Minnesotans to continue to follow the laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Last year, compliance surpassed 97 percent at more than 450,000 watercraft inspections.
DNR Enforcement officers are seeing a steady increase in the number of people who know and follow aquatic invasive species laws.
“Nearly all Minnesota anglers and boaters are taking the three simple steps: clean, drain, dispose,” said DNR Enforcement Operations Manager Jackie Glaser. “It’s not only the best way to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, but it’s also the law in Minnesota.”
When boating or fishing in Minnesota, protect your waters by following state aquatic invasive species laws:
- CLEAN all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers, and water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.
- DRAIN water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property. Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.
- DISPOSE of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.
In addition to these steps, especially after leaving infested waters, the DNR recommends that anglers:
- Spray boat and trailer with high-pressure water;
- Rinse boat and trailer with hot water (120° for two minutes; or 140° for 10 seconds); or
- Dry boat and equipment for at least five days.