It’s AIS season. Ready, Set, Go!

Check In - Check Out - images of cover pages of boat decontamination manual and AIS identification booklet

The open water boating season is here and many of your organizations are involved with AIS inspections, inspectors, and early detection activities. Here are a couple of things you may not know about which may help.

The Lake Tahoe watercraft decontamination manual is well-organized with 91 pages of photos and great content, including nearly 30 pages of manufacturer-specific decontamination considerations.

The MAISRC AIS identification guide contains tips for identifying a number of aquatic invasive species (AIS) that are considered high-risk to Minnesota waters, as well as some common native lookalike species. You can download it for free, buy the book, or become an AIS Detector and get the book — plus tons of hands-on training!

The free Check-In, Check-Out program was designed by our friends at CD3 to educate boaters on hand cleaning different types of watercraft and trailers. Simply place the Check-In, Check-Out QR code at a visible location at your boat launch. 

MN DNR designates 12 more AIS

Dense patch of lilies

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has classified 13 high-risk invasive aquatic plants, fish and invertebrates as prohibited invasive species. All but one (jumping worms) are AIS.

Here are the 13 new AIS: mitten crab, Nile perch, snakehead family, walking catfish family, yellow floating-heart, tench, golden mussel, marbled crayfish (marmorkrebs), golden clam, tubenose gobies (any fish belonging to the genus Proterorhinus), and eastern mosquitofish.

For more information on these new AIS, you can check out the DNR’s website.

MN DNR unveils new lake health info site

As a new part of the MN DNR’s Watershed Health Assessment Framework, the lakes section is now available online. It provides easy access to water quality and health information for thousands of Minnesota lakes.

In the new site, you can find detailed information about a lake’s water quality, biology, hydrology, and stewardship. You can drill down to an individual lake by major watershed, county, catchment, and more.

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DNR unveils summer walleye rules for Mille Lacs Lake

State-licensed anglers will have the opportunity to harvest a walleye 21-23 inches in length or greater than 28 inches throughout the 2023 open water season on Mille Lacs Lake. A lower walleye harvest this winter and an improving walleye population are combining to allow this year’s more liberal regulations.

As context for the 2023 summer walleye regulations, Brad Parsons, fisheries section manager for the MN DNR said “The lake has been in a state of change since the 1990s. As the water started to clear, we began seeing warmer water temperatures. Change continues with the introduction of invasive species such as zebra mussel and spiny water flea.”

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Starry stonewort infestation prevented by watercraft inspector

Vigilant DNR watercraft inspectors prevented the introduction of starry stonewort to Lake Superior, which is currently not known to be infested with the harmful invasive species.

A DNR watercraft inspector saw what appeared to be grass in the motor intake of a boat whose owner approached the Agate Bay public water access to Lake Superior in Lake County. Upon closer examination, the inspector noticed the small star-shaped bulbils that indicate starry stonewort. The boat owner said the boat had been on Bowen Lake in Cass County the previous weekend. Starry stonewort was confirmed on Bowen Lake in August. The inspector used the decontamination station on site to ensure the invasive species was removed before the boat entered Lake Superior.

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