What are Aquatic Invasive Species?
Aquatic Invasive Species are non-native plants, animals, and other organisms, living primarily in water, that have been introduced beyond their native range and eventually out-compete native species. Left unchecked, these invaders can greatly affect lake and stream ecosystems as well as how we use and enjoy them. Thankfully, because of current outreach and prevention programs, only a small percentage of Minnesota lakes are infested with AIS; however, these efforts must be ongoing in order to slow future AIS populations from establishing in other waterbodies.
Wadena County's current AIS status:
In 2009, the MN DNR classified Lower Twin Lake as infested with Faucet Snails. Almost 10 years later, in 2018, the presence of Faucet Snails was discovered in nearby Blueberry Lake, adding it to the list of infested waters in Minnesota.
What We're Doing:
Watercraft Inspector Program
Each Spring, Wadena County hires roughly 5 watercraft inspectors who obtain annual training through the Minnesota DNR. These inspectors are then distributed to either Stocking, Blueberry, Spirit, or Twin lake to conduct inspections at each access.
Need to decontaminate your watercraft? Check out the decontamination map on the DNR website to find a location closest to you: https://webapps15.dnr.state.mn.us/ais_decon_sites
Always remember to Clean, Drain, and Dry to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species from infesting your favorite lake or river!
What do Aquatic Invasive Species look like? https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ais/id.html
What can you do? https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/preventspread_watercraft.html
How to clean, drain, and dry your boat properly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lEcDnLDpz8&list=PL1A468B277F9A6E57
Why should we care? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IobWB1yZHm8
Want to learn more about AIS? Check out these resources or email us with your questions/concerns:
Rules and Regulations
How you can help prevent the spread of AIS
Shoreland Owner for AIS Prevention