Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are plants and animals in our lakes and streams that are not native to Minnesota and many of them can cause significant environmental and economic harm. The Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District (CLFLWD) is taking a proactive role in preventing the spread of AIS in the watershed. Activities include boat inspections, aquatic vegetation studies and treatments, zebra mussel monitoring, and fish management.
You can help prevent the spread of AIS by:
CLEANING 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.
DRAINING water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor) and draining 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.
DISPOSING 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.
REPORTING AIS sightings using the CLFLWD's AIS Observation Form.
Under most circumstances it is illegal to transport any aquatic plants, zebra mussels, New Zealand mudsnails or other prohibited invasive species, or to launch a boat or trailer with these species attached. The MN DNR offers several authorization forms in lieu of permits for specific activities such as transporting a boat to a cleaning and storage location, and transporting prohibited invasive species to a disposal site. Authorization forms are not permits and it is not necessary to apply to the DNR to use them. Simply download and print the appropriate form and carry it with you during transport. See "Training and Permits" on the DNR's AIS website.
Thinking about removing aquatic plants like Eurasian watermilfoil in front of your shoreline? Here's an excerpt from the "Lake and Pond Management Guidebook" by Steve McComas with some helpful information. Also see the CLFLWD's Eurasian watermilfoil management information sheet for more info.