WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 03, 2012, 07:15 PM

Docks going into area lakes much earlier than usual

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - There are a lot of firsts with this crazy, warm spring, including docks and lifts going in like never before.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

There are a lot of firsts with this crazy, warm spring, including docks and lifts going in like never before. This year those in the business of putting in and removing those docks are going through training and education as part of the war on zebra mussels and other invasive species.

If you want a perfect lake day to put in the dock, today was it. Sun, little wind and an eager crew. J&K Marine of Detroit Lakes has a long list of customers to get to during the next few weeks. The work has begun - one of the earliest dates in the lake ever. The J&K Crew has been going to school.

Chris Denardo – J&K Marine-Detroit Lakes: “We had to do online training this year and our company had to do training and get permits this year.”

Training and education on the proper way to get into and out of lakes as the battle against invasive species rolls on.

Chris Denardo:”The biggest things in lakes around here where you don’t have the infestations, we have to make sure the guys have the suits clean when they’re done at the end of the day. We have to make sure if we’re transporting any docks from lake to lake – which we don’t do a lot of – we have to make sure they’re cleaned off and dried for a certain number of days before they can even be transported to another lake.”

These dock crews are willing to go through the training and take the test not only keep invasive species out of the lake, but to save their lake and keep their jobs.

Joshua Moon – J&K Marine-Detroit Lakes: “Sometimes it’s a weed. It only take an inch of a weed to get multiplication in another lake. You have to literally get under the floater and make sure every piece and speck is clean. It is time consuming, but it is a smarter thing because in the long run it will keep things safer for everybody.”

The men were sure grateful for wet suits today. It was just days ago people were ice fishing on this lake. With Easter and Mother's Day still ahead of us, people will be sitting out on their docks enjoying the sun weeks before they usually get the chance

Owners of boats in Minnesota are required to post decals on their watercraft, which outline the do's and don’ts of draining water and cleaning lake weeds from boats and trailers.