Starting this boating season, anyone found guilty of violating Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws will not only have to pay the required fines but will also have to complete mandatory training. The short “Clean In Clean Out” training must be completed before people found guilty of violating Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws can legally operate their watercraft anywhere in the state.
“The class is free and easy to take either online or with a paper home-study,” said April Rust, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invasive species training coordinator. “Anyone interested in learning more about how to protect Minnesota waters from invasive species can also take the free online class.”
The “Clean In Clean Out” training is available on the training page – http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/CICOtraining/index.html
“Minnesotans overall are doing the right things, and the rate of compliance with aquatic invasive species laws is increasing every year,” said Maj. Todd Kanieski, DNR Enforcement operations manager. “The few individuals who violate these laws are the highest risk factor for infesting a lake or river. We want to not only help people avoid a citation but, more importantly, keep 95 percent of Minnesota’s lakes off the infested waters list.”
Boaters and anglers can comply with Minnesota’s invasive species laws by remembering Clean, Drain, Dispose:
• Clean aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species from watercraft,
• Drain lake or river water from all equipment and keep drain plugs out during transport, and
• Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash, not in the water.
Lake property owners are reminded that docks and lifts must be cleaned and allowed to dry for at least 21 days before moving them to another body of water.
More information about aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their spread is on the aquatic invasive species page – http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/aquatic/index.html.