There are endless ways to get out and enjoy the beautiful lakes and streams in your area this season. Boating, paddling, fishing, swimming, and reading at the beach are all great ways to take advantage of the multitude of water bodies in the state.
Unfortunately, there are also many ways to spread invasive plants and animals that threaten the health of these water bodies. It’s not just boaters who need to take precautions — aquatic invasive species (AIS) like zebra mussels or milfoil can travel via canoes, docks, and boat lifts. They can also spread when people dump a bait bucket or aquarium into a water body or storm drain.
Anyone bringing a boat, canoe, kayak, paddle board or other water-related equipment into a new body of water should thoroughly clean, drain, and dry it before entering and after leaving.
Those who hire a professional to remove their dock or boat lift should make sure the person or business is a certified Lake Service Provider from the MN DNR, which ensures they have received training on how to prevent the spread of AIS. Dump bait and aquarium plants and fish in a waste bin, not in a lake, stream or storm drain.
AIS can cause significant long-term damage to Minnesota’s precious water bodies, and can keep us from enjoying them in ways we have in the past. Learn more about steps you can take to prevent the spread of AIS at www.minnehahacreek.org/AIS.