Together we can slow the spread of invasive species
Minnesota lakes and rivers are one of our greatest assets. Not only do they define our state but they also serve as a place of rich ecological interest, seasonal recreational enjoyment and wellsprings of renewal to those who visit. In order to protect these waters for future generations we as individuals now have a new mission, to slow the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). Continue reading below to find out what Aquatic Invasive Species are of special concern in Minnesota including how to identify them and which of our waters are currently infested. Most importantly we want to convey the importance of everyone doing their part by following three simple steps: Clean, Drain and Dispose. Doing these three things whether or not you know the lake or river is infested or if you know the first thing about any of the Aquatic Invasive Species these are the first steps to protecting our waters.
- Clean all aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other invasive species from boats, trailers, and water-related equipment.
- Drain water from your boat, ballast tanks, motor, live well and bait container. Remove drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting equipment.
- Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. To keep live bait, drain the water and refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.
For more information visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Invasive Species webpage >
According to Minnesota Statute an Aquatic Invasive Species – is a plant, animal, or virus, including algae and submerged, floating leafed, or emergent plants, that naturally grow in water, saturated soils, or seasonally saturated soils that is a nonnative species that invades water beyond their natural and historic range that: (1) Causes or may cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health; or (2) Threatens or may threaten natural resources or the use of natural resources in the state Note that by law the invasive must cause economic or environmental harm or be unsafe.
For a list of high-risk aquatic invasive species and more information on them visit the University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center website.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) maintains an Infested Waters List of waters containing high priority aquatic invasive species. The DNR will add a lake, river, pond or wetland to the infested waters list if it contains one of these aquatic invasive species. The DNR may also list a lake, river, pond or wetland as infested if it is connected to a body of water where an aquatic invasive species is present.
The 2014 Legislative Session enacted Law Chapter 308 to provide Minnesota counties a County Program Aid grant for Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) prevention. The amount designated to each county was based on the number of watercraft trailer launches as well as the number of watercraft trailer parking spaces within each county.
County efforts will be in addition to existing work being supported and delivered by MN DNR. It is the hope of the legislature that together the county plus MN DNR can slow the spread of aquatic invasive species and their negative impacts to our lakes.
Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention AID Funding 2019–Request for Proposals is due March 4, 2019.
The Todd County Aquatic invasive Species (AIS) plan was prepared with input from Lake Associations, County Commissioners, and the Todd Soil and Water Conservation District staff. This plan was prepared to direct the expenditure of County Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Aid funds allocated by the State of Minnesota Legislature starting in 2014. Goals included in this plan are to develop a program which is ongoing and slows the spread of aquatic invasive species within Todd County’s lakes and rivers. Strategies to make this a reality include outreach and education, boat inspections at public landings, and enforcement of existing AIS regulations. Select lakes will be monitored for Zebra Mussel veligers. Projects to control AIS in Todd County Lakes will be cost shared with lake associations.
Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention AID Funding 2018–Request for Proposals (Due: February 5, 2018 at 4:30p.m.). The period has closed.
Watercraft inspections on Todd County lakes is a major part of the local program. Inspectors are trained to walk through a series of questions with the watercraft owner in an effort to educate the public and verify the watercraft is free of mud, plants, organisms and that no water is being transported to or from the body of water. Inspectors are located on both infested and uninfested lakes within Todd County and at public landings in surrounding counties. For a list of locations where watercraft inspectors may be located see the current Todd County AIS Plan. For more information on what to expect in the case you are asked to be inspected see the DNR website on the Watercraft Inspection Program. Inspectors working in Todd County are trained by the DNR to conduct Level 1 inspections and must follow procedures outlined on the page.
- Watercraft Decontamination-Decontamination Sites
- Report a Suspected Infestation – https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/report_invasives.html
- Report Fish Kills- https://www.maisrc.umn.edu/report-fishkills
- Zebra Mussel Monitoring – https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteering/zebramussel_monitoring/index.html
- Zebra Mussel Veliger Sampling on Todd County Lakes- Contact Todd SWCD
- Become an AIS Detector – https://www.maisrc.umn.edu/ais-detector
- Become an AIS Tracker-https://www.maisrc.umn.edu/our-research
- What Kids Can Do- http://www.habitattitude.net/
- Participate in Starry Trek Day- https://www.maisrc.umn.edu/starrytrek
- Attend Todd County Aquatic Invasive Species Committee Meetings – Fall Meeting TBD
- Educate Yourself by Watching a Short Video