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Fishing Opener Brings Crackdown on Invasive Species

April 24, 2019 06:53 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Next month’s Governor’s Fishing Opener in Albert Lea will draw anglers from around the upper Midwest and Canada.

And they’re going to find a stepped-up effort to prevent a contagious problem that has crippled many other lakes.

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“I’m starting to see it all around, actually, whether it's the weeds or the zebra mussels" Tavis Bolinger said.

You've heard that Las Vegas saying that ‘what happens here stays here’? Well that's not always the case for Minnesota lakes.

“If we have milfoil come in, and if we have zebra mussels it can choke off the game fish and make the lake so it's not enjoyable” Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag said.

So the sheriff's office is taking steps to keep that from happening.

"Last week we received training from the DNR in aquatic invasive species inspections” Sheriff Kurt Freitag said. “And we are going to inspect boats at the boat launch sites before they launch in the water and after the boats are retrieved."

“We bounce around a lot up there in the Alexandria area,” angler Tavis Bolinger said. “And some of the lakes I've come across they have like the zebra mussels and over the years the water clarity has gone down."

"We're going to make sure that their live wells are empty, that their drain plus are removed we're going to take a look at the under carriage of the trailer, the boat," Sheriff Kurt Freitag explained.

The goal is to make sure that what happens somewhere else doesn't end up in Albert Lea’s lakes.

"There's been a number of times there's been weeds on the wheel well, caught up on my depth finder,” angler Tavis Bolinger said. “If I had went to the next lake right away it would have easily went into the water also."

"The kickoff for us is the fishing opener,” Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag said. “But I want to be able to spend some time during the fishing and boating season... educating people."

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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