DNR takes to the road to fight invasive speciesMoorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- If you are towing a boat down a Minnesota road, beware. The DNR can and may pull you over for no reason. It's part of the states effort to crack down on Aquatic Invasive Species Violations, but not everyone's happy about it.
Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- If you are towing a boat down a Minnesota road, be ware. The DNR can and may pull you over for no reason. It's part of the states effort to crack down on Aquatic Invasive Species Violations, but not everyone's happy about it.
In the state of Minnesota, not even state troopers can pull you over for no reason. But now conservation officers can.
We reached out to boaters this afternoon, many with very mixed reactions about the issue.
Dean Jacobsen: "Infringement on our rights and also I think it's going to delay a lot of people."
Rarely does Dean ever move his boat. But looking to for a different experience, he got a lay down of the law at Big Cormorant.
Jacobsen: "Something to get used, as far as the spot checks."
As of July 1st, the Minnesota DNR has the authority to pull you over to check your boat. Are all your plugs pulled? Wells drained? If not, it could result in hundreds of dollars in fines.
Glen Sitz: "This is our home, we are all in favor of it, we'd like to do everything we can to stop the zebra mussels and other invasive species."
The DNR has not made any random stops just yet as it works through legal issues with some county attorneys. But when everything is resolved, you can expect to see those checkpoints on roads with heavy lake traffic.
Lt. Brian Kuphal: "The biggest culprit in the spread of those right now are human beings and their activity, so by showing people that we are serious about enforcement and educating those people, our goal is to stop the spread of invasive species."
Still, for most boaters we talked to today, even having the policy in place seems like a little bit of overkill.
Ben Rage: "Trying to control the issue, it's necessary maybe, but there's different ways of doing it, I think."
On top of the new rules, Aquatic Invasive Species fines doubled on July 1st. A violation that cost 250-dollars last month, will now run you half-a-grand.