DNR Enforcement of Invasive Species at Road Check Station
In the continuing effort to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, the Minnesota DNR has again started its unannouced roadside checks of boaters on public roads.
A recent statistic: 1 out of 6 boats in 2015 is violating the invasive species laws. Leaving the drain plug in while traveling on the highway is a common violation. All water must be drained out of a boat before going on the highway. If bait is transported after coming out of a lake, the old water must be dumped out, and replaced with new clean water from home.
Turnoff for DNR checkpoint can be seen in the distance
More than boats can spread invasive species. Particularly dangerous is any waterfront equipment that has been sitting in a lake for even a few days. So roadside checks will include more than boats and trailers.
However, at the 2013 Memorial Day weekend roadside check only boats and trailers were seen.
This year, 2014, the MN DNR plans to increase the number of roadside checks.
Understanding that the boaters did not want to be delayed on this holiday weekend the DNR officers worked efficiently to check the boats and water-related equipment.
It appeared that most boaters were through the process in 3 or 4 minutes. If it took longer than that it was because the boater had questions.
At the same time DNR officers were at the roadside check area other officers were at a local boat access checking arriving and departing boaters for invasive species.
Citations were issued at both locations when violations were found.
New to the DNR, and present for this inspection, was a dog trained to detect zebra mussels. We did not see the dog in action, but they reportedly are very efficient and can speed up an inspection considerably.
It is not legal to travel on public roads with any sort of aquatic vegetation.