DNR: 1 in 4 Minnesota boaters carrying invasive species - KMSP-TV

DNR: 1 in 4 Minnesota boaters carrying invasive species

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Minnesota DNR is strengthening its enforcement of invasive species violations, because an “unacceptable” number of boaters are still showing up at lakes and rivers with invasive plants or animals on their boats.

“Far too many people are still not following the law,” said Greg Salo, DNR central region enforcement manager. "Some of these laws have been on the books for more than 15 years and yet we’re still seeing a 26 percent violation rate at enforcement check stations. That's unacceptable. Violators should know better by now.”

Watercraft inspectors have stopped more than 1,300 boaters carrying invasive species at launch sites this season. The Minnesota DNR has issued 169 citations and 375 warning tickets to boaters for invasive species violations this season, with fines ranging from $100 to $500.

Minnesota aquatic invasive species law

In Minnesota, it is illegal to:

- Transport watercraft without the drain plug removed.

- Arrive at lake access with drain plug in place.

- Transport aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or other prohibited species, whether dead or alive.

- Launch watercraft with prohibited species attached.

- Transport water from Minnesota lakes or rivers.

- Release live bait into the water.

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