WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 01, 2010, 08:59 AM

New law in Minnesota aimed at keeping invasive species from spreading

Pelican Lake, Minn. (WDAY TV) - Tonight, there is a new law on the books in Minnesota that will change the way boaters leave a lake. Right now, 40-lakes in Minnesota have been infested with zebra mussels. The law that is now in effect is aimed at keeping the mussels and other invasive species from spreading.

Jeff Peltier has spent most of his life on Pelican Lake, but is just beginning to see the consequences of un-checked boats.

Jeff Peltier: "Yeah, it is disappointing because we were way ahead of the curve working on this, and yet we got it."

Invasive species like Zebra Mussels have taken over the Lake. The new law requires boaters to remove the plug and drain all water from the boat. That includes live wells and bilges.

Nathan Olsen: "What it comes down to is a lot of these invasive species are being transported by water and so if you can eliminate all the water or a good portion of the water that's moving around the state, and then you're doing a lot to stop the spread of invasive species."

The Minnesota DNR spends about 400-Thousand of its 4-million dollar yearly budget fighting invasive species.

Nathan Olsen: "I would love to get down to zero, but there's always that stuff that's already here that needs to be managed."

40-Minnesota lakes are home to the invasive zebra muscle and with 9,960 left on the list, the land of 10-thousand lakes is trying to uphold its reputation. If you have portable bait buckets you will only need to empty those out if you are leaving an infested lake. We have also posted a link on our website for you to check out all the Minnesota lakes listed with invasive species.