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Boaters and anglers must take steps to prevent aquatic invasive species spread

The Independence Day holiday brings busier lake accesses, and people will be hurrying to family gatherings and celebrations. It is important for all lake and river users to take a few minutes to clean, drain, dispose—every time.

"Nearly all boaters and anglers understand and follow Minnesota's clean, drain, dispose laws to prevent spreading aquatic invasive species," said Heidi Wolf, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invasive species unit supervisor. "People can prevent the spread of invasive species like zebra mussels, starry stonewort and Eurasian watermilfoil by always cleaning and draining watercraft and disposing of bait in the trash."

Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to take these steps every time they leave a lake or river:

• Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.

• Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport.

• Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody:

• Spray with high-pressure water.

• Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).

• Dry for at least five days.

People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found an invasive species.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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