- Associated Press - Thursday, July 10, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Too many boaters are breaking state laws intended to make it harder for invasive species to spread in lakes and rivers, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials said Thursday.

In response, the agency said it’s ramping up enforcement this weekend.

“Far too many people are still not following the law,” said Capt. Greg Salo, the DNR’s enforcement manager.

So far this season, conservation officers have issued 169 tickets and 375 warnings for violations of aquatic invasive species laws, Salo said. Officers have followed up with nearly 100 people after watercraft inspectors found their boats were unwitting carriers of zebra mussels, he said.

The violation rate at check stations is running at 26 percent, Salo said, which he calls “way too high.” He said the most common violation is people failing to pull their boat plug and keep it out while transporting their boats.

DNR announcements of the discovery of an invasive species - often zebra mussels - turning up in a new body of water have become almost routine in recent months, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1ts0JuV ) reported. Recently zebra mussels were detected in Lake Melissa, the first confirmed sighting in the Detroit Lakes area, a popular summer destination for boaters and anglers.


Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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