DNR Urges Boaters to Stop Invasive Species Spread

Posted at: 05/12/2013 9:04 PM
Updated at: 05/12/2013 10:43 PM

( ABC 6 News)-- There are more than 11,000 lakes in Minnesota and the majority of them are not infested with aquatic invasive species. DNR officials say they would like to keep it that way by making sure boaters are taking extra steps against spreading them.


"The fact is we do know there are invasive species out there and we can only try to minimize it I think at this point," said Marshall Grange after fishing on the Mississippi River.


Marshall Grange doesn't stick to fishing in one body of water, and because his boat hits many different lakes and rivers throughout the summer,  Marshall makes sure there's no hitchhikers tagging along for the ride.


"Just taking a nice walk around the boat," said Grange.


The law requires boaters to remove weeds, zebra mussels and other prohibited aquatic species from boats and trailers.


“Just digging in there and pulling them out,” said Grange.


The DNR wants to make sure these steps are being taken. A hundred watercraft inspection interns from across the state have been hired for the summer.


"We're going to be checking to make sure you don't have weeds hanging from your boats and your trailers when you pull it up. You have to pull your boat plug, drain all your water from your boat. Make sure you run you builds when you get out. No water can come with you after you leave the landing," said DNR Conservation Officer Luke Belgard.


About 15 interns work in our area, inspecting boats as they come in and out of lakes and rivers.


Marshall Grange says all it takes is a few extra steps to ensure your boat is free of invasive species.


"We got to take it seriously and be responsible outdoors people," said Grange.


The DNR says not all aquatic invasive species are easy to see, especially zebra mussels. Using hot water and high pressure washers is a way to remove or kill all of them