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Attention anglers: Anyone who transports boat must pass invasive species test

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A law that goes into effect in 2015 will affect anyone who transports a boat in Minnesota.

It's the latest move to help fight aquatic invasive species in the state's lakes.

In 2011, the Minnesota Legislature passed the "Aquatic Invasive Species Training Law" to help fight the spread of invasive species like zebra mussels and eurasian water milfoil, according to WDIO, and it's finally going into effect this year.

The law requires anyone who transports a watercraft or water-related equipment (docks and lifts) with a trailer in Minnesota to pass a test to get a decal that must be displayed on their trailers starting July 1, 2015, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says.

The DNR plans to have the test ready for Minnesotans to take online starting next month. Paper home-study training packets will also be available in January by calling 651-351-2000.

Officials are still finalizing the test, but it will likely be 10 questions and take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete, the DNR says. The cost of the test hasn't been determined.

The DNR is starting to get the word out now, and hopes to do a big media push in the spring to encourage anglers and water sport enthusiasts to take the test and get the decals before the July 1 deadline, WDIO notes.

If someone violates the law, they must successfully complete the training course before continuing to operate or use their watercraft, the DNR says.

WDIO says they will be given a warning during the first year of the program and the penalty for the future is unclear.

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