Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are water dwelling plants, animals, or insects that are non-native and cause damage to our lakes, or bring harm to humans and our native species. Invasive species generally refer to aggressive non-native species, that have the potential to alter environmental habitats.
Protecting our waters is like protecting our way of life! Threats to our water quality should be taken as a personal threat. Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) have established a foot-hold in some of our waters. Stopping their spread should be of utmost importance to anyone who loves lakes.
Fast growing. Forms thick weed mats that choke out native vegetation and impact swimmers, boaters and fish.
Prolific invaders, clogging/damaging to hard surfaces like docks, boat motors. Sharp shells can cut swimmers feet.
Grows dense mats at the water’s surface that out competes native aquatic plants and could also affect water salinity levels.
The pressure many of our lakes see from recreational users can take a toll. As mobile as we are, (fishermen, boaters, paddle boarders, kayakers, etc...) we hop from lake-to-lake with ease.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) or non-native plants, animals and sometimes fish are finding ways to spread along with our movements. The easiest mode of transportation for AIS is unfortunately by interaction with us.
On their own, invasive species expand territory fairly slow. With our help AIS are able to travel like jet-setters! Often they can be found attached to boat motors, (A) the watercraft itself, (B) trailers, or still floating within the live-well or bilge water. (C)
Drain water from boats, motors, live-wells, even bait buckets before leaving the lake. Don't let AIS piggyback in bilge.
Remove plants, mud, and other debris from your watercraft and trailer. Don’t allow any natural matter to be transported to other bodies of water. Remember... watercraft does not just mean boats. Kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, jet skis, etc... they all are capable of transporting AIS.
Any dock equipment moved from one lake to another must be dried on land for at least 21 days before it is placed in new lake. This includes docks, boat lifts and swim platforms.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussel larvae in a water sample taken from Lomond Lake, which abuts the city of Bagley in Clearwater County. Lomond becomes the first Clearwater County lake listed for zebra mussels.
Recent laboratory analysis showed 30 microscopic zebra mussel larvae, called veligers (VEL-uh-jers) in a water sample taken from the lake in August. While no adult or juvenile zebra mussels have been reported, the number of veligers indicates a reproducing population.
Lomond Lake will be added to the infested waters list for zebra mussels, so that people who harvest bait or fish commercially take necessary precautions. Other lake users should follow the same “Clean, Drain, Dispose” steps that are always legally required on all water bodies, regardless of whether they are on the infested waters list.
Lake property owners should carefully check boats and trailers, docks and lifts, and all other water-related equipment for invasive species when removing equipment for seasonal storage.
It is especially important to follow Minnesota’s law and keep docks and boat lifts out of the water for at least 21 days before putting them into another body of water.
Anyone transporting a dock or lift from a shoreline property to another location for storage or repair may need a permit, to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
The DNR recommends these steps for lake property owners:
People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species.
Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:
Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody:
Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.
More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais.
Contact Clearwater SWCD at (218)-694-6845 or with our "contact us" page located above for any questions.