With the Minnesota fishing opener upon us, you can help protect your favorite lake from aquatic invasive species (AIS).
While boating, you simply have to follow three simple steps: Clean, Drain, Dry.
Before leaving a lake, boaters should clean all visible plants and other debris from all equipment; drain any water from the craft and keep drain plugs out; and wipe everything dry.
Disposing of unwanted bait also helps prevent the spread of AIS.
You can also help prevent the spread of AIS by becoming an early detector.
By joining the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s (MCWD) team of volunteers in keeping an eye out for new AIS, you can help catch any new infestation early and improve the chances for successful management.
You will be provided with the tools and the know-how to identify what’s invasive and what’s native and you report your findings back to MCWD.
“While we work on long-term solutions to managing invasive species in our water, it is critical we all do what we can to keep them at bay,” said Eric Fieldseth, MCWD’s AIS Program Manager. “It’s a lot cheaper and easier to keep an invasive species out of a lake than it is to remove a species once it becomes established.”
The MCWD supports their partner’s AIS prevention programs, which have watercraft inspectors at most lakes across the District.
The MCWD is also supporting valuable research projects to help find the best ways to manage invasive species that are already here.
These efforts include working with a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota’s AIS Research Center to continue a study on treatment options of zebra mussel larvae; the research will take place in Lake Minnetonka.
The MCWD also is developing a carp management plan following a three-year assessment of common carp in the Six Mile-Halsted Bay Subwatershed, the headwaters of Lake Minnetonka.
To learn more about the MCWD’s AIS prevention and management activities and to sign up for MCWD’s AIS Early Detector program, visit minnehahacreek.org/AIS.