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.
- Infested Waters Link: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ais/infested.html
What We're Doing:
- Watercraft Inspection 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
What Can You Do?
- Take the pledge to prevent aquatic invasive species!
In 2022, the Minnesota DNR began a new online pledge to help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species. The pledge affirms that any participate 18 years or older will follow the state’s “Clean, Drain, Dry” laws and encourage others to do the same.
Will you pledge to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species? If so, click here: Pledge to Protect Minnesota Waters | Minnesota DNR (state.mn.us)
these simple Clean, Drain, Dry steps regardless
of water activity to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species from infesting
your favorite lake or river! Clean
In Clean Out | Minnesota DNR (state.mn.us)
Frequently Asked Questions:
- 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
- Rules and Regulations: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/laws.html
- Recent Research: https://maisrc.umn.edu/
- How you can help prevent the spread of AIS: https://stopaquatichitchhikers.org/prevention/
- Shoreline Owner for AIS prevention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vabkGxzT9U