Posted at: 07/04/2013 3:40 PM
Updated at: 07/05/2013 7:45 AM
By: Stephen Tellier
Holiday Boaters Asked to Review Invasive Species Laws
Boater on Lake Minnetonka.
Photo: KSTP/Jim O'Connell
Boaters are flocking to lakes across Minnesota this Fourth of July weekend.
Hundreds of boats populated Lake Minnetonka by the early afternoon Thursday. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters to follow the state's aquatic species law.
"We're inspecting boats, making sure people are coming in with the drain plugs out, no vegetation or anything like that on the trailers," William Baer, a law compliance representative with the DNR, said.
Baer and two other boat inspectors were also talking to as many boaters as they could at the Gray's Bay boat launch on Lake Minnetonka.
"The main line of defense we have is education, which is why we're here. We can't be at the access 24 hours, so really, we're just trying to talk to as many people as we can so they know the laws and they know what to be doing," Baer said.
The law requires boaters to:
- 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 live bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your live bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.
- Click here for more information about the law.