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Anglers can prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species

The approaching fishing season comes with a reminder from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to always follow state laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

It’s also important for anglers to take a few minutes for invasive species prevention every time a boat comes out of the water.

Maj. Shane Kirlin, DNR operations manager, said that’s true whether or not an enforcement officer or watercraft inspector is present.

“All anglers and boaters in Minnesota are required to take three simple steps: clean, drain, dispose,” Kirlin said. “It’s not only the best way to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, but it’s also the law in Minnesota.”

People must clean aquatic plants and debris from watercraft, drain lake or river water and keep drain plugs out during transport, and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash, not in the water.

In addition to these required steps, the DNR also recommends that anglers:

• Spray boat and trailer with high-pressure water;

• Rinse boat and trailer with very hot water (120° for two minutes; or 140° for 10 seconds); or

• Dry boat and equipment for at least five days.