The Minnesota Legislature authorized the DNR to complete a two-year pilot study with interested, eligible lake service provider businesses.
The pilot study will test different methods that would allow businesses to remove water-related equipment from one of three designated lakes (Lake Minnetonka, Gull Lake, and Cross Lake) with zebra mussels attached and to return the equipment to that same lake without removing the zebra mussels.
A special pilot project permit will allow participating businesses to transport zebra mussels away from the lake and include safeguards to ensure that the equipment only returns directly to the same lake.
Pilot Study Eligibility
This pilot study is open to permitted lake service provider businesses that meet the following eligibility requirements established in state law.
Click on the requirement below to reveal more information. Click again to hide.
- 1. Have a current lake service provider permit
- 2. Be located in one of the three lake/county locations
Minnetonka (DNR Division of Waters number 27-0133): The Minnetonka pilot study is open to businesses located in the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) boundaries or in a municipality immediately bordering those boundaries, which includes: Minnetrista, Mound, Spring Park, Orono, Minnetonka Beach, Wayzata, Minnetonka, Woodland, Deephaven, Shorewood, Greenwood, Excelsior, Tonka Bay,Victoria, Independence, Maple Plain, Medina, Long Lake, Plymouth, Medicine Lake, New Hope, Golden Valley, Saint Louis Park, Hopkins, Edina, Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, Laketown Township, St. Bonifacious, Waconia, or Watertown.
Gull Lake (DNR Division of Waters number 11-0305): The Gull Lake pilot study is open to businesses located in Cass or Crow Wing Counties using Gull Narrows State Water Access Site, Government Point State Water Access Site, and Gull East State Water Access Site.
Cross Lake (DNR Division of Waters number 18-0312): The Cross Lake pilot study is open to businesses located in Cass or Crow Wing Counties using the Cross Lake #1 State Water Access Site.
- 3. Get a corporate surety bond from an insurance company
The authorizing legislation requires each participating business to provide a $50,000 corporate surety bond, payable upon violation of the Invasive Species Laws (Chapter 84D). The violation terms will be specified in the pilot study permit.
Insurance companies preparing the bond should:
- use a permit or compliance bond format, and
- list the obligee on the bond as "State of Minnesota, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological and Water Resources".
- 4. Apply for a Pilot Study Permit
Lake Service Providers that decide to participate in the pilot study need to provide proof to the DNR they have acquired a surety bond and apply for a pilot study permit (no cost and minimal paper work).
- 5. Attend a short training
Staff participating from the business will need to attend a training session in Minnetonka or Brainerd to learn the basics of the study protocols and have a chance to meet with DNR staff, inspectors and conservation officers to ask questions before participating.
Equipment Eligible for the Study
Customers’ water-related equipment is eligible to test the pilot study. The first year of the study will include all types of watercraft, docks, lifts and swim rafts. Equipment that is already out of the water and returning to the lake in 2017 will not be eligible for the pilot study. During the first season of this pilot study, only equipment being removed from the lake after initial installation is eligible. Water-related equipment removed from the lake at the end of the 2017 season will be tagged for winter and will be eligible to install without decontaminating in the spring.
Tapping Methods Planned for Pilot Study
Participating businesses will choose one of the following options:
- 1. Lake Service Provider staff use a smart phone app paired with metal tags
Participating businesses will be given a set number of tags and serial numbers along with a free app to download for either Android or iPhones. When removing equipment from the designated pilot study lake that they are planning to return to the same lake, LSP employees will use the app record the equipment (take photos of equipment and tags at access, add in basic information with app) and tag the equipment with a metal tag. LSP employees can legally transport this tagged equipment to their work site for repair or storage. When transporting equipment back to the lake, LSP employees will use the app to document returning the equipment to the water and will cut the tag off (saving the tag to return to the DNR at a later date). There will be backup procedures for technical difficulties. There will also be procedures for equipment that no longer returns to the lake that allows you to cut the tag, decontaminate the equipment and remove the equipment from the pilot study, as needed.
- 2. Lake Service Provider staff go to DNR Watercraft Inspectors to verify tagging and tracking of equipment
Participating businesses will be given a list of accesses and times when Watercraft Inspectors will be available for checking equipment in and out. When removing equipment from the designated pilot study lake that they are planning to return to the same lake, LSP employees will go to an access with DNR Watercraft Inspectors, who will record the equipment (take photos of equipment and tags at access, add in basic information with app). LSP employees will bring tags issued by the DNR and tag the equipment with a metal tag, allowing LSP employees to legally transport equipment to their work site for repair or storage. When transporting equipment back to the lake, LSP employees will go to an access with DNR Watercraft Inspectors, to check in the equipment back to the lake and will cut the tag off (LSPs will collect tags for to turn in at end of pilot study). There will be backup procedures in place, in case of technical and scheduling difficulties. There will also be procedures for equipment that no longer returns to the lake that allows you to cut the tag, decontaminate the equipment and remove the equipment from the pilot study, as needed.
Logistics and Timeline
Businesses may participate in one or both years of the pilot study. The pilot study will end in fall, 2019. The legal authority for this project expires December 1, 2019. The DNR will collect and assess final data and feedback from participants and prepare a report of recommendations for the Minnesota Legislature by January 15, 2020.
To participate or for more information, contact April Rust.
- April Rust, AIS Training Coordinator, 651-259-5706