Avoid spreading aquatic invasive species when removing water-related equipment this fall
Avoid spreading aquatic invasive species when
removing water-related equipment this fall
Residents are urged to use permitted service providers and report any new infestations
The crisp weather signals the approach of winter, and with it, thousands of Minnesotans will be storing their boats, docks, lifts, and other water-related equipment until spring. To assist you in the handling and prevention practices of aquatic invasive species (AIS), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR), Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), and Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) urge you to consider the following tips and understand the AIS transportation laws in place to keep AIS at bay:
Use Permitted Service Providers
AIS infestations in the state have been caused by improper removal and movement of docks, lifts, and other equipment. Minnesota law now requires lake service providers – anyone hired to install or remove water-related equipment (including structures) from Minnesota bodies of water – to undergo training on preventing the spread of AIS. Service providers who have completed this training are issued permits by the MN DNR and know how to protect other waters from new invasives. The providers will have a yellow sticker displayed on their vehicle (shown here) and their permit within. Additionally, all employees will carry a MN DNR certification card. Additionally, all employees will carry a MN DNR certification card. A list of permitted providers is available on the Minnesota DNR website.
Self-Transporting of Watercraft, Equipment, or Aquatic Plants
Because it is illegal to transport any watercraft, equipment, or aquatic plants carrying AIS away from a body of water, even for storage or repair, individuals must obtain, complete, and carry a one-way authorization form from the MN DNR. The form allows the transporter to legally transport their item to a location where zebra mussels must be removed prior to its final destination. Specific guidelines are listed within the form; one requires a 21-day drying period before docks, lifts, and swim rafts may be placed in other waters. Authorization forms are available at http://dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ais_transport.html.
Self-Storage of Watercraft and Water-Related Equipment/Structures
Shoreland owners may store their watercraft, equipment, and structures on their property (if no transportation is required) and may place them back into the water at the same location next spring without removing zebra mussels. The state law exempts these actions from the transport and introduction prohibitions. Also, in this situation the 21-day drying period for placement in the water does not apply.
Self-Inspect and Report New Infestations
A quick response to the presence of invasive species can save a water body from infestation. Please check all equipment and structures once they are taken out of the water and report species that are not known to be present in that water body. Take a photo, keep a sample of the specie(s), and report it to the local DNR Invasive Species Specialist. It is legal to transport suspected AIS to the DNR to report it. To assist in the identification of a suspected AIS please immediately contact MCWD AIS Specialist Eric Fieldseth at 952-471-7873 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about identifying invasive species at http://minnehahacreek.org/AIS. Learn more about cleaning, draining and drying equipment at our Save Our Summers page.
For information on Lake Minnetonka contact:
Greg Nybeck, Executive Director, Lake Minnetonka Conservation District
(952) 745-0789 or email@example.com
For information on other MCWD lakes
Telly Mamayek, MCWD Communications Director
(952) 641-4508 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District covers approximately 181 square miles, including Minnehaha Creek, Lake Minnetonka, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and Minnehaha Falls. The District is charged by state law to protect, improve and manage water resources. It does so through scientific research and monitoring, public education, cost-share grant programs, permitting and collaborative efforts with the 27 cities, two townships and two counties (Hennepin and Carver) that are in the District. For more information, visit www.minnehahacreek.org.
Lake Minnetonka Conservation District
The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) is a regional governmental agency created under State enabling legislation in 1967. The District is governed by a Board of Directors composed of one member appointed by the City Councils of the 14 cities surrounding Lake Minnetonka. The LMCD is charged with managing a number of activities on Lake Minnetonka. Some of which include boating and navigational safety regulations, dock and boat storage, licensing and permitting of multiple Lake needs, as well as the management and prevention of AIS ( working closely with the MCWD, MN DNR, and other local partnerships and agencies). For more information, visit www.lmcd.org.
Department of Natural Resources
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is charged by state law to have a statewide program to prevent and curb the spread of invasive species of aquatic plants and wild animals. According to state statute, the DNR program must provide for coordination among governmental entities and private organizations to the extent practicable. For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/AIS.