Editorial: Continue to be vigilant in fight against AIS
The Department of Natural Resources recently announced that aquatic invasive species violation rates are 20 percent among boaters across the state. This is highly unacceptable. AIS is nothing to take lightly. Luckily, Hubbard County has been proa...
The Department of Natural Resources recently announced that aquatic invasive species violation rates are 20 percent among boaters across the state.
This is highly unacceptable. AIS is nothing to take lightly.
Luckily, Hubbard County has been proactive in stopping the spread of AIS in our local lakes and rivers.
The 2012 watercraft inspection program has the cooperation of area lake associations including Belle Taine, Mantrap, Big Sand, Blue, Emma, Fishhook, Island/Eagle, Little Sand, Long, Potato and Spider, along with support from the Argo, Henrietta, Hubbard, Lake Emma and Mantrap townships, the city of Nevis, and the DNR. DNR. Hubbard County Soil and Water District has also been instrumental in getting the program off the ground.
More than $82,500 has been committed to this year's program, which includes 13 inspectors covering the lakes participating in the effort.
We're glad people are taking this effort seriously and hope those who head out onto our lakes will also be mindful to prevent the spread of AIS.
According to the DNR, 193 criminal citations, 463 civil citations, 975 written warnings and 267 verbal warnings had been issued across the state through June 6. Last year about 850 citations or warnings were issued to violators of Minnesota's AIS laws. That compares with 293 citations and warnings issued in 2010.
Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to transport invasive aquatic plants and animals, as well as water, from water bodies infested with zebra mussels and spiny waterfleas. Violators could face fines up to $500. Some penalty amounts will double beginning July 1.
To help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, anglers and boaters are required by law to:
n Drain bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access.
n Remove aquatic plants from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive species.
n Pull the plug on their boat and drain all water when leaving all waters of the state.
n Keep the drain plug out while transporting water-related equipment on roadways.
For more information on aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their spread, is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index_aquatic.html .
PARK RAPIDS ENTERPRISE