DNR Ramps Up Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Enforcement

By KBJR News 1

May 26, 2012 Updated May 26, 2012 at 11:37 PM CDT

(Northland's NewsCenter)---The Department of Natural Resources is ramping up its aquatic invasive species prevention enforcement on the waters over this holiday weekend.

The increased enforcement efforts are meant to prevent the spread of invasive zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species.

About 100 conservation officers and water craft inspectors are stationed at inland water docks across the state.

Officials are advising water users of the laws and practices that will keep invasive species from spreading.

They are reminding people to clean and drain any water and visible aquatic plants from the watercraft before transporting it to another land access.

Conservation officers say past educational campaigns have helped, but they are moving now toward education through citations.

"We've taken a stance of writing tickets now for people that aren't following the rules," Mike Scott, a Conservation Officer said. "We've got a great compliance rate, but it's not as high as we want it. We need to get it almost to 100 percent."

There are about 50 AIS billboards on major highways throughout the state to further spread awareness about Aquatic Invasive Species.