- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PARK RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) - Officials are expected to begin inspecting all boats entering Itasca State Park in an effort to prevent the spread of invasive species.

The Minnesota Department of Resources said Monday that watercrafts will be checked beginning May 22 to ensure they’re in compliance with state rules. Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1Bad4TH ) reports boaters are required keep their vessels free of weeds and debris, remove drain plugs while traveling and dispose of unused bait.

The department said inspectors could deny access to the park for boats that are in violation of the rules.

Department officials are most concerned about invasive species that can easily be transported from one lake to another through plants or water left on a boat, such as zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny waterfleas.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, https://www.mprnews.org

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