Boaters forced to live with new restrictions

As Asian carp, zebra mussels and other invasive species invade our waters, the reality of Minnesota's long tradition of carefree boating is coming to an end. The state is ramping up its defenses by stopping drivers at mandatory roadside checks, doubling fines and increasing a fleet of boat decontamination units.
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As Asian carp, zebra mussels and other invasive species invade our waters, the reality of Minnesota's long tradition of carefree boating is coming to an end. The state is ramping up its defenses by stopping drivers at mandatory roadside checks, doubling fines and increasing a fleet of boat decontamination units.

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DNR planning roadside checks in 2012

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is going to start conducting random roadside checks in 2012. Conservation officers will inspect trailers, boats and other vehicles to help stop the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species. More decontamination units and watercraft inspectors will also be deployed at infested lakes and rivers around the state.

List of waterways with invasive species grows

Just in time for Minnesota's warm-weather boating season, state conservation officials Thursday released a list of waterways newly discovered to be infested with invasive species such as Asian carp, zebra mussels and Eurasian milfoil. Added were nearly two dozen lakes and stretches of the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers.

Penalties double for invasive species violations

Tougher laws aimed to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, like zebra mussels and spiny waterfleas, go into effect Sunday, July 1 -- doubling fines for Minnesota boaters who are caught violating the rules. The Department of Natural Resources says about 20 percent of boaters are not taking the basic precautions to comply with the laws. The new fines range from $100 to $500 dollars.

Asian carp may infiltrate Minnesota from northwestern Iowa

State officials on the lookout for Asian carp have been monitoring the Mississippi River. But there are new fears that the invasive species may use another gateway to Minnesota. Anglers in northwestern Iowa have caught dozens of the carp in waters that connect through streams and lakes to southern Minnesota.