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DNR updates list of waters infested with aquatic invasive species

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DNR updates list of waters infested with aquatic invasive species
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has updated its website to show the additional lakes and river sections that were newly designated as waters infested with invasive species.

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"The designation of waters with aquatic invasive species highlights the urgency for increased awareness and vigilance by people who are transporting water or water-related equipment such as boats, docks and boat lifts," said Jay Rendall, DNR invasive species prevention coordinator. "Extra effort is needed to clean, drain and dry all equipment to prevent further spread from infested waters."

Another major concern is the discovery in southwestern Minnesota waters of Asian carp, which have moved up from the Missouri River. That has led to the designation of many water bodies in that area as infested with bighead and silver carp.

The designations and associated regulations, such as prohibiting the harvest of bait and transport of water from those waters, are intended to help contain the aquatic invasive species present in the designated waters. The harvest of bait from designated infested waters with invasive fish such as bighead and silver carp is prohibited for commercial and non-commercial use.

Lakes and bodies of water that have been added to the infested waters list:

Bighead and silver carp - Indian Lake (Nobles County); Anderson's Marsh, Clear Lake, Grovers Lake, Illinois Lake, Little Sioux River and its tributaries, Little Spirit Lake, Loon Lake, Loon Creek between Loon Lake to Spirit Lake, Pearl Lake, Plum Lake, Round Lake, Rush Lake, Skunk Lake, Spirit Lake, West Fork of Little Sioux River and its tributaries, plus many unnamed lakes, and unnamed creeks and ditches connected to infested waters, all in Jackson County. Also designed as infested are the Mississippi River downstream of Lock and Dam 2 (Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Wabasha, Washington and Winona counties); and the St. Croix River downstream of the Taylors Falls dam (Chisago and Washington counties).

Zebra mussels - Irene Lake (Douglas County), Lake Pepin (Goodhue County), Forest Lake, Libbs Lake and Peavey Lake (Hennepin County).

Eurasian watermilfoil - Cobblestone Lake and Thomas Lake (Dakota County); Lake Pepin (Goodhue County); an unnamed gravel pit (Steele County); Colby Lake (Washington County).

The full list of infested waters is available on the DNR website (www.dnr.state.mn.us).

Invasive species alert signs are posted at the public water accesses of infested waters. More waters may be designated this summer and fall if they are determined to be infested.

By taking a few simple steps when leaving a lake or river, boaters and anglers can do their part to help stop the spread of several aquatic hitchhikers, such as zebra mussels.

The key steps are to clean, drain, and dry boats and equipment:

* Clean all aquatic plants, zebra mussels, snails, spiny waterfleas and mud from boats, trailers and equipment before leaving the water access.

* Drain water from bilges, live wells and bait containers before leaving the water access.

* Dry boats and equipment for five days, or spray with high pressure and hot water before transporting to another water body.

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