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AIS stickers and other important info


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For anyone wondering here is a short Q and A. Please keep opinions to the other dozen threads smile

Q&A About Aquatic Invasive Species Rules Decal on Watercraft

Q. Is the aquatic invasive species rules decal on boats still required by law? A. NO. A new law passed in 2012 repeals the previous 2011 requirement for the rules decal. Watercraft owners are no longer required to place the silver and black decals, which includes a summary of the state's AIS laws, on their boats. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) began distributing the decals earlier this year and will continue to distribute them to interested boat owners for informational purposes only. Although the decal is no longer mandatory on boats, it is still provides helpful information about the AIS laws. Boaters who have decals can still place them on their boats, trailers, or other water-related equipment as a reminder.

Q. Will the DNR continue to distribute the decal to boaters and businesses? A. No. The rules decals that were printed have all been distributed to DNR offices, staff, and businesses statewide. DNR watercraft inspectors and conservation officers, and others will provide remaining decals as informational items. The decal will not be reprinted.

Q. Is there a new law requiring an invasive species trailer decal? A. Yes. Beginning in 2015 there is a new trailer decal requirement that is scheduled to start. The new law passed in April, 2012 will require anyone who transports watercraft or water-related equipment with a trailer to complete an online education course. After completing the course, the person will receive a decal that must be placed on their trailer, certifying they have taken the course. People taking the course can receive extra stickers if they own or use multiple trailers for watercraft or water-related equipment. The DNR will develop the online AIS course in the future for implementation of the new decal requirement in 2015. When that law becomes effective, a warning rather than a citation can be issued to boaters who do not display the decal.

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DNR says expect to be checked, cited for aquatic invasive species violations

Anglers and boaters can expect stepped-up patrols and citations for violating the state's aquatic invasive species (AIS) laws, according to Lt. Col. Rodmen Smith, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Enforcement Division assistant director.

"We are setting the expectation of the angling and boating public that they will follow the laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, that they will be checked for AIS violations, and that they will cited if a violation is found," Smith said.

The increased patrols will begin with the walleye opener on Saturday, May 12, and continue through the Memorial Day weekend and into the summer.

Minnesota law prohibits the possession or transport of any AIS in Minnesota. Conservation officers and peace officers may stop and inspect motorists pulling boats or other marine equipment upon a "reasonable belief" that AIS are present. AIS include zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny waterfleas.

To help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, anglers and boaters are required by law to:

Drain bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access.

Remove aquatic plants from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Pull the plug on their boat, and drain all water when leaving all waters of the state; drain plugs must remain out while transporting water-related equipment on roadways.

Smith said check stations will also be conducted this summer near public waters, public water accesses, resorts and private water access landings where the transpiration/trailering of watercraft or water-related equipment occur.

"To be compliant with the law, a boater must simply pull the plug, drain the water, and remove any weeds from the boat and trailer," said Smith.

Smith said that stopping the spread of AIS is a DNR priority. "Anglers and boaters can expect to be checked and cited by a conservation officer if found in violation of AIS laws."

Citations range from $50 to $1,000.

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Sounds more like they want to make a little money, then anything else. I cant wait to see this topic light up come Monday when everyone is complaining about their tickets, and the inconvenience it is.

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This may be a stupid question, but, do you need to drain the minnow bucket even if it doesn't use lake water? I'm using my Frabill Min-o-life bait station in the boat.


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So if I'm headed to Alex and I get stopped on 494, checked out and on my way...another DNR officer can pull me over 10 miles up the road?

Well looks like I'm going to be fighting ALOT of tickets for not pulling over until I need gas or get to my destination.

I don't care what anyone says. This is so ridiculous.

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The things you'll need to know for the test will change 3 dozen times prior to 2015, so i'd just go with the flow for now, and do a last minute study in 2015.

Or, keep the booklet/information URL open when taking the test.

Like they are not going to be giving out a "study guide" in some form beforehand.

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I am sure this test is going to be real dang complicated. It will be multiple choice and common sense. I mean really folks, do you honestly think its something you would need to study for?

Thanks Dtro for the info on the AIS sticker. Now I can scrape that thing off my windshield.

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who know's by 2015 there may not even be a test. it takes that long to figure out a test? i could get one together in a couple of days or less. the whole thing is nuts. i will continue to voice my opinion to scraping this thing and stick with checking people at landings. you would have to be from another planet not to know the basics by now. no test is needed. good luck.

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DNR will ramp up aquatic invasive species prevention, enforcement during Memorial Day holiday weekend

Don't move a mussel.

Or Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny waterfleas or any other Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, advises the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

For this weekend and entire summer, the agency has considerably ramped up its boat inspections, enforcement efforts and educational campaign to prevent the spread of invasive zebra mussels and other AIS.

"This weekend is the start of the summer water-recreation season in Minnesota, and we need everyone's cooperation to protect our waters," said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. "While the DNR is devoting more resources than ever to this problem, it takes only one careless act to infest your favorite lake or river forever."

This weekend, 100 watercraft inspectors will be stationed around the state, checking boats for AIS and advising water users of laws and practices that will keep invasive species from spreading. The DNR will also deploy 14 decontamination units at various water bodies around the state. The agency will concentrate inspectors and decontamination efforts at high-use water bodies that are currently infested with AIS.

"This goal is to ensure that all watercraft users in Minnesota are complying with state laws and are cleaning all aquatic plants, animals and mud from their watercraft, draining all water and leaving their drain plugs out," said Heidi Wolf, DNR watercraft inspection program coordinator.

DNR conservation officers will also be actively checking watercraft users this weekend to make sure they are following state AIS laws. Results from enforcement efforts this spring indicate about 16 percent of watercraft users are violating state AIS laws.

One common violation is failure to keep a boat or livewell drain plug out and other water-draining devices open while transporting a watercraft. The law is designed to ensure that no water, which can carry microscopic invasive species like young zebra mussels, is being transported to other water bodies. The fine for not keeping a drain plug out is $50. It will increase to $100 on July 1, along with other AIS fines.

The DNR's education campaign has increased significantly this year. The number of AIS billboards along major highways throughout the state has increased to 47, while the agency has increased its TV, radio and print media advertising on AIS and continued providing AIS prevention grants to many local organizations. The DNR recently began a new partnership with the Explore Minnesota Tourism to promote AIS prevention within the tourism industry.

Aquatic Invasive Species laws

Under state law, boaters must also:

Clean visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited species from watercraft, trailers and equipment before transporting from any water access.

Drain water from bilge, livewell, motor, ballast tanks and portable bait containers before leaving water accesses or shoreline property.

Keep drain plug out and water draining devices open while transporting watercraft.

Also under state law, it is illegal to:

Transport aquatic plants, water or prohibited invasive species such as zebra mussels or Eurasian watermilfoil.

Dump live bait into state waters, on shore or on the ground.

Launch, or attempt to place, watercraft, trailers or equipment with aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or prohibited invasive species into any state waters.

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Although that may be the law that all ships dump and refill their ballast tanks before entering, I'm a little skeptical that they all would do so as it would take some ships another full day. We all know that time is money. For me to believe that some huge corporations in foreign countries would be more concerned with our water quality over their bottom line is a leap of faith that eludes me. Who is there to check? and how? kinda like our minnow buckets, there is no way of knowing without having an official on board watching. Why do they qualify to get the honor system and we don't? ($$$)

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Easy Peasy. They check to see if the ballast water is salty as they enter.

If they are supposed to change out Before they enter the Saint Lawrence Seaway, they would still be in saltwater. If they had freshwater in the ballast tanks it would mean they changed out while in freshwater and isn't that what the regulation is there to prevent?

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has updated its HSOforum to show the additional lakes and river sections that were newly designated as waters infested with invasive species.

"The designation of waters with aquatic invasive species highlights the urgency for increased awareness and vigilance by people who are transporting water or water-related equipment such as boats, docks and boat lifts," said Jay Rendall, DNR invasive species prevention coordinator. "Extra effort is needed to clean, drain and dry all equipment to prevent further spread from infested waters."

Another concern is the possibility that Asian carp have moved into southwestern Minnesota waters through the Missouri River watershed. That has led to the designation of many water bodies in that area as infested with bighead and silver carp. Neither the Minnesota DNR nor commercial fishermen have sampled Asian carp in the area yet. The DNR intends to survey fish in Little Spirit Lake and Loon Lake this summer. Although the DNR recently did some electrofishing and gill netting on the mainstream Little Sioux River and some associated aquatic basins, so far the DNR has not found any bighead or silver carp in this area.

The designations and associated regulations, such as prohibiting the harvest of bait and transport of water from those waters, are intended to help contain the aquatic invasive species present in the designated waters. The harvest of bait from designated infested waters with invasive fish such as bighead and silver carp is prohibited for commercial and non-commercial use.

Lakes and bodies of water that have been added to the infested waters list:

Bighead and silver carp – Indian Lake (Nobles County); Anderson's Marsh, Clear Lake, Grovers Lake, Illinois Lake, Little Sioux River and its tributaries, Little Spirit Lake, Loon Lake, Loon Creek between Loon Lake to Spirit Lake, Pearl Lake, Plum Lake, Round Lake, Rush Lake, Skunk Lake, Spirit Lake, West Fork of Little Sioux River and its tributaries, plus many unnamed lakes, and unnamed creeks and ditches connected to infested waters, all in Jackson County. Also designed as infested are the Mississippi River downstream of Lock and Dam 2 (Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Wabasha, Washington and Winona counties); and the St. Croix River downstream of the Taylors Falls dam (Chisago and Washington counties).

Zebra mussels – Irene Lake (Douglas County), Lake Pepin (Goodhue County), Forest Lake, Libbs Lake and Peavey Lake (Hennepin County).

Eurasian watermilfoil – Cobblestone Lake and Thomas Lake (Dakota County); Lake Pepin (Goodhue County); an unnamed gravel pit (Steele County); Colby Lake (Washington County).

The full list of infested waters is available on the DNR HSOforum at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index_aquatic.html.

Invasive species alert signs are posted at the public water accesses of infested waters. More waters may be designated this summer and fall if they are determined to be infested.

By taking a few simple steps when leaving a lake or river, boaters and anglers can do their part to help stop the spread of several aquatic hitchhikers, such as zebra mussels.

The key steps are to clean, drain, and dry boats and equipment:

Clean all aquatic plants, zebra mussels, snails, spiny waterfleas and mud from boats, trailers and equipment before leaving the water access. Drain water from bilges, live wells and bait containers before leaving the water access. Dry boats and equipment for five days, or spray with high pressure and hot water before transporting to another water body. -

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released some initial statistics from its increased aquatic invasive species (AIS) patrol efforts.

So far this year, the AIS violation rate among boaters is 20 percent. "This rate is unacceptable," said Maj. Phil Meier, DNR Enforcement Division operations manager. "The majority of violations could have been avoided if people had taken the time to change their routine when leaving lakes and rivers, and comply with AIS laws."

The extra patrols began May 12 and will continue through the summer.

"Enforcement activities, whether educational opportunities or issuing citations and warnings, are geared towards compliance," said Meier. "Enforcement is a primary motivator to changing the behavior of those who may intentionally or unintentionally move invasive species."

Through June 6, conservation officers had worked nearly 3,200 hours dedicated to AIS enforcement, making more than 20,000 combined law and education contacts. During this time, 193 criminal citations, 463 civil citations, 975 written warnings and 267 verbal warnings were issued.

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.

"We hope these citations, warnings and public contacts will continue to raise awareness that this state looks at invasive species very seriously," Meier said. "We will enforce the rules."

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:

Drain bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access. Remove aquatic plants from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive species. Pull the plug on their boat and drain all water when leaving all waters of the state. Keep the drain plug out while transporting water-related equipment on roadways.

"Once an invasive species gets established into our waters, it's very unlikely we can eliminate it," Meier said. "That's why vigilance and prevention are critical."

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