Aquatic Invasive Species
Pelican River Watershed District has long been involved in education, research and management activities relating to aquatic invasive species. We encourage you, whether a resident, angler, watersports enthusiast, student or visitor to be informed and diligent in keeping our lakes clean and preventing the further spread of AIS.
Clean - Inspect and clean off all plants, zebra mussels, and mud on equipment before leaving the lake or river.
Drain - Pull drain plugs and drain all water from boats, ballast tanks, bait containers, motors, bilge, live well, and kayak before transporting.
Dry - Boat with plug removed, compartments, and gear at least 7 days in the summner (30 days spring/fall).
Know the laws:
21 days - When moving equipment from a lake or river, all visible zebra mussels, facet snails and aquatic plants must be removed whether dead or alive. Equipment must be dry for at least 21 days and AIS free before placing in another waterbody.
Pull the Plug - All water draining devices must be removed or set to "open" when on public roads - including live-wells.
Bait Disposal - Dispose of all unwanted bait in the trash, dumping unused bait on land or in the water is not legal.
If you have any questions regarding aquatic invasive species or to report new infestation, please call your local MN DNR AIS specialist. DNR invasive species contact
If you are moving your boat from one lake to another and do not have sufficient time to allow it to dry thoroughly, you need to decontaminate your watercraft and gear to ensure you are not transporting invasive species that are not visible or removable.
Becker County has purchased three decontamination units and will decontaminate your watercraft free of charge charge. Contact the Becker County Soil and Water Conservation District for decontamination locations and hours of operation. (218)846-7360
Answers to Common AIS questions
- AIS can be stopped; waterfowl do not spread zebra or quagga mussels.
- The spread of AIS follows the highways not flyways. There is no evidence or reliable research to support the idea that water in the bill of a pelican or cormorant spreads AIS. There are no known infestations discovered that are attributed to this vector.
- Inspections lower the risk of AIS transfer.
- Everyone is responsible to protect our water resources. Inconvenience does not trump being a responsible boater.
- Introducing a new invasive to a water way only compounds issues.
- There are many other aquatic invasive species that are on their way to Minnesota that can be more devastating than zebra mussels. Quagga mussels can out-compete zebra mussels for food and live in much deeper depths of water. Hydrilla is like milfoil on steroids. In addition, the impact of individual AIS becomes more complex with each invasive in a water body. Once a water body has one invasive, it becomes more important to keep any other AIS out.
- Inspections are necessary between launches, even in non-infested waters.
- It is impossible to know which lakes may already be infested, therefore it is necessary to assume all water bodies may be infested. It may take 2-3 years after an infestation to discover a colony of mussels.
- Decontamination is worth the time.