DNR: Number of invasive species violations unacceptable

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says 20 percent of boaters screened this spring have violated laws to combat the spread of aquatic invasive species. The agency calls the rate unacceptable because the majority of violations could be avoided. DNR officers stepped up patrols last month and will continue through the summer.
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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says 20 percent of boaters screened this spring have violated laws to combat the spread of aquatic invasive species. The agency calls the rate unacceptable because the majority of violations could be avoided. DNR officers stepped up patrols last month and will continue through the summer.

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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.

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The bill allows the DNR to setup inspection stations and issue tougher fines to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive-species. Minnesota's 800,000 boaters would also be required to pass a training course. House lawmakers okayed the legislation Friday and Senators could vote on it this weekend.

Fines for not meeting invasive species laws double starting Sunday

Got aquatic weeds hanging off your boat or trailer? The fine goes from $50 up to $100 on July 1. The DNR says it'll have 140 inspectors out checking compliance with the boating laws meant to limit the spread of invasive species such as zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil.

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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.