The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says violation of the aquatic invasive species law among boaters is 20 percent. Maj. Phil Meier, Enforcement Division operations manager says this is unacceptable. He says the majority of violations could have been avoided if people had taken the time to change their routine when leaving lakes and rivers, and comply with AIS laws.
The extra patrols began May 12 and will continue through the summer.
Through June 6th, conservation officers had made more than 20,000 combined law and education contacts. During this time, 193 criminal citations, 463 civil citations, 975 written warnings and 267 verbal warnings were issued.
Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to transport invasive aquatic plants and animals, as well as water, from water bodies infested with zebra mussels and spiny waterfleas. Violators could face fines up to $500. Some penalty amounts will double beginning July 1.
Boaters are being asked to drain bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access; remove aquatic plants from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive species, pull the plug on their boat and drain all water when leaving all waters of the state and keep the drain plug out while transporting water-related equipment on roadways.