New law prompts changes for Red River catfish tournament

A new law in both Minnesota and North Dakota restricts the transport of live fish across state lines. It's to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species.
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A new law in both Minnesota and North Dakota restricts the transport of live fish across state lines. It's to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species.

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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.

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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Officials say the inspections will prevent further spread of invasive zebra mussels. The county board will have the final say and must find a funding source for the inspections -- estimated to cost $30,000 a year.

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The Department of Natural Resources says there's hope that a chemical might help stop the spread of the invasive aquatic species that is fast spreading in Minnesota lakes. The DNR treated Rose Lake in Otter Tail County last fall, and two divers who scoured the lake this week did not find any zebra mussels.

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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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.