DNR watercraft inspector prevents spread of AIS into Lake Superior

DNR officials stopped the spread of starry stonewort from a Cass County lake into Lake Superior.

According to a release, a DNR watercraft inspector saw grass in the motor intake of a boat whose owner approached the Agate Bay public access.

The inspector noticed the small star-shaped bulbils that distinguish the invasive starry stonewort from native stoneworts.

The owner said the boat had been on Bowen Lake in Cass County the previous weekend.

Starry stonewort was confirmed in Bowen Lake in August.

A decontamination station on site removed the invasive species before the boat entered Lake Superior, which is not known to be infested with starry stonewort.

Nearly 900 watercraft inspectors were hired in the state this year, which included 800 local government inspectors and 100 from the DNR, funded by a portion of the $10 million Minnesota counties receive to prevent the spread of AIS.

Whether or not a lake has any invasive species, Minnesota law requires people to:

  • Clean watercraft, trailers and equipment to remove aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
  • Drain all water and leave drain plugs out during transport.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
  • Never release bait, plants or aquarium pets into Minnesota waters.
  • Dry docks, lifts and rafts for 21 days before moving them from one waterbody to another.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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