Invasive Species Fines Double 30 Jun 12

Invasive Species Fines Double

The fines for violating Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws will double beginning Sunday when tougher laws take effect. Minnesota law prohibits the possession or transport of any aquatic invasive species, including zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny waterfleas. The Department of Natural Resources says the violation rate among Minnesota boaters and anglers is at an unacceptable 20%. Failure to remove a drain plug while transporting a watercraft will now mean a $100 fine, while the fine for unlawfully possessing and transporting prohibited species will jump to $500. Boaters and anglers are required to clean aquatic plants and animals off their boats, trailers and equipment; to drain their bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access; and to keep drain plugs out while transporting water-related equipment. More information on the state’s invasive species laws can be found online on the Minnesota DNR’s website.