Local group ramps up fight against invasive species

Photo by Tom Hintgen
Public boat accesses at various lakes in Otter Tail County have information about stopping the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). An example is the public access on the north side of Wall Lake, east of Fergus Falls.

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

It is the mission of the Otter Tail County Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force to develop programs and strategies to support and enhance the protection of Otter Tail County waters.  

“In order to accomplish this, our task force promotes public awareness, education, containment, research and provide recommendations to the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners,” says Spencer McGrew, county Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist.

“When boating or fishing in Minnesota, protect your waters by following state aquatic invasive species laws,” he adds.

Here are ways to help stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species;

• Clean all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers and water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.

• Drain water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property. Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.

• Dispose of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.