Editorial: New decal from DNR to bring awareness to AIS
The DNR is stepping up efforts to make boaters aware of the state's aquatic invasive species laws. This is good news.
A new required decal is now available for Minnesota boaters to help remind them of the state's aquatic invasive species laws, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced recently.
The free decals are available at DNR offices, deputy registrar offices where licenses are sold, large sporting goods shops and from DNR watercraft inspectors and conservation officers.
The decals will also be included in envelopes with new and renewal watercraft licenses mailed from the DNR.
The decal should be attached to all types of watercraft including canoes, kayaks and duckboats before launching on, entering into, or operating on any Minnesota waters.
The two-piece, gray-and-black decals detail new state laws that watercraft users must follow in order to avoid spreading aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, and spiny waterfleas.
The decal must be attached to the watercraft, but state law does not specify where that must occur. DNR officials recommend displaying it where it can be read and can be shown to an officer upon request. However, the decal does not need to be in view of the operator and it does not need to be placed near the watercraft registration decals.
If a watercraft owner does not want to stick the decal on the boat because it is an antique wooden boat or other unique boat, the decal can be attached or laminated to an object like a luggage tag and kept in the boat.
There are two parts to the decal. Watercraft owners and operators must display the top portion of the decal on all watercraft prior to launching on, entering into, or operating on any waters of Minnesota. The second portion of the decal is intended to be placed on the winch post of watercraft trailers or in another area to remind boaters to remove the boat's drain plug when leaving a water access area as required by state law. It also reminds boaters to replace the plug before launching.
There is no penalty in effect, but conservation officers can issue a warning for not displaying the decal. After Aug. 1, 2014, it will be a petty misdemeanor for boaters who fail to display the decal on their watercraft.
We look forward to seeing a lot of the decals on area lakes.