With the 2022 Minnesota Fishing Opener upon us this weekend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to remind all anglers that they play a vital role in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Not only is it important to follow the steps laid out by the DNR to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, Minnesota state law states that it must be done.

According to the DNR, it's important for anglers bringing boats onto Minnesota lakes to clean, drain, and dispose every time. It only takes a few minutes to take these necessary precautions every time a boat comes out of the water but Shane Kirlin, DNR operations manager, says it's necessary.

“All 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, it’s also the law in Minnesota.”

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He adds that prevention is required whether or not an enforcement officer or watercraft inspector is present.

Simply stated, 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 Minnesota 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.

A wealth of information on aquatic invasive species and how they can be prevented can be found on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Invasive Species Information Page.

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