DNR launches effort to fight spread of aquatic invasive species

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has 
announced its new strategies to fight the spread of aquatic invasive 
species across the state.
The efforts take a two-pronged approach: to increase inspections and 
decontamination of boats at and near water bodies, especially those 
infested with aquatic invasive species; and to increase awareness that 
the public must do its part not to spread invasive species.
"The DNR cannot be at every boat ramp this summer, making sure 
boaters, anglers and other water users are not bringing zebra mussels 
and other invasive species to public waters," said DNR Commissioner 
Tom Landwehr. "Our message is these waters belong to everyone - so 
everyone needs to be responsible for not moving these invaders."__
In 2012, the DNR will institute new invasive species check stations, 
hire more watercraft inspectors, deploy more decontamination units and 
increase its public awareness efforts - all to stop the spread of 
zebra mussels and other aquatic invaders.
In addition, a new law passed in 2011 (Minnesota Statues 86B.508) that 
requires a watercraft owner or operator to obtain and attach an 
aquatic invasive species rules decal to all types of watercraft prior 
to launching on, entering into, or operating on any waters of the 
state. The decals are available at DNR offices, Deputy Registrar 
offices where licenses are sold, and large sport shops, as well from 
DNR Watercraft Inspectors and conservation officers. They will be 
included in the envelopes of new and renewal watercraft licenses 
mailed from DNR. They are free.
There is no penalty in effect at this time, but a warning can be 
issued if the sticker is not displayed. Now that the decals are 
available, it is expected that boaters will be obtaining them. After 
August 1, 2014, it will be a petty misdemeanor for boaters who don't 
display the decal on their watercraft.