Posted at: 03/28/2014 5:32 PM
Updated at: 03/28/2014 5:51 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
The Minn. DNR rolled out a new campaign today to stop the spread of invasive species in lakes and rivers. Officials say violation rates have dropped, but now they want you to 'think zero.'
Before you sink a line, cruise around the lake, or put the dock in for the season, Lt. Col. Rodmen Smith, with the DNR Enforcement Division, says boaters need to make sure they know how to prevent unwanted hitchhikers.
"Remove all aquatic vegetation from their boat and trailer when they leave a lake, they need to pull the plug and have zero water in there when you go down the road," he explained.
Last year, nearly 8,000 boats came to Minnesota landings without their drain plugs removed, more than 1,200 boats had vegetation attached, and 134 had zebra mussels attached. Those were all violations.
The aquatic invasive species violation rate dropped last year, but the DNR said 1 in 5 boaters are still breaking the law.
Now, they say, 'think zero.'
"Think zero violations. Understand what the laws are and how important they are to follow to protect our lakes and rivers," said Ann Pierce, in the DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division. "And think zero new infestations caused by water related activities."
The DNR reminds boaters to remove all weeds, pull your drain plug, and drain all your water to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.