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This sign will greet anglers and campers visiting Big Mantrap Lake's public access. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Amateur's Guide: Warring over dastardly Aquatic Invasive Species

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outdoors Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

It's opening fishing weekend and we want to give a special shout out to the lake associations for all they are doing to combat Aquatic Invasive Species.

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Armed with the ammunition indicating the hefty economic clout our lakes have on the Hubbard County tax base, lake residents are getting serious about the weekend company.

Don't bring it, is the message.

What's "it"? AIS, of course.

From boat washes to inspectors, Hubbard County lakes are gearing up to do battle with boat owners.

It will be a lesson in diplomacy. Boat inspectors have often met hostility and resistance at public access areas. Boat owners challenged on the spot tend to be defensive and not all that cooperative.

But Big Mantrap Lake reported contact with 467 cooperative boaters last summer who were receptive to AIS information and inspections

This year lake residents have hired the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to provide it with inspectors during peak launch times.

"It seems really fitting the Ojibwe will be helping us keep our lake free of invasive species as their ancestors were, after all, the first residents on Big Mantrap Lake," the association's newsletter states.

Let us know what you are doing to protect your lakes.

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Lots of evening and rose-breasted grosbeaks. Hummers have arrived! Loons are nesting! Send photos and wildlife tidbits to ssmith@parkrapids enterprise.com.

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