The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding lake property owners to carefully check boats and trailers, docks and lifts, and all other water-related equipment for invasive species when removing equipment for seasonal storage.
This is important, as several new zebra mussel confirmations in recent years were initially reported by people removing docks, boats and boat lifts.
"These late summer/early fall confirmations are the result of Minnesotans being more vigilant and checking for invasive species when taking equipment out of the water," said DNR Invasive Species Unit supervisor Heidi Wolf.
It’s especially important to follow Minnesota’s law and keep docks and boat lifts out of the water for at least 21 days before putting them into another body of water. This state law is central to the training DNR-permitted lake service provider businesses receive. Anyone transporting a dock or lift from the adjacent shoreline property to another location for storage or repair may need a permit, to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
The DNR recommends these steps for lake property owners:
- Look on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged in water for an extended period.
- Hire DNR-permitted lake service provider businesses to install or remove boats, docks, lifts and other water-related equipment. These businesses have attended training on Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws and many have experience identifying and removing invasive species.
- Contact your area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if you think you have discovered an invasive species that has not already been confirmed in your lake.
More information is available on the aquatic invasive species page.