200 Clean-and-Drain Areas Planned for MN Waters
Photo: KSTP File Photo
More than 200 clean-and-drain areas will be added this summer at boat launches throughout Minnesota to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
The state Department of Natural Resources is planning the sites to act as visual reminders for boaters to clean and drain their boats properly and provide safe and convenient places to do it.
Installing the clean-and-drain areas at high-use sites on infested waters is a priority, the DNR stated. The state will be the first nationwide to implement this type of modification at multiple water access sites, according to DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.
"The boat 'clean-and-drain' areas are a part of the DNR's ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species," he stated in a release. "Everyone who has a boat on a trailer has the personal responsibility to prevent the spread of invasive species; these areas will make it easier."
The new areas should make it easy for boaters to understand what they need to do and where to go to throw away discarded aquatic vegetation and bait, which are sometimes left behind on ramps or in parking areas.
The new areas will include compost bins and pavement stencils and signs.
The following should become routine for boaters:
- Load boat onto trailer safely and pull forward to boat clean-and-drain area.
- Clean boat by removing plants, zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species from watercraft, trailer, anchor and all water-related equipment.
- Dispose of plants and animals in disposal bin.
- Dump bait bucket water (and unwanted minnows and leeches) into disposal bin. Plan ahead to save minnows and leeches by transferring them to containers prefilled with well, bottled, distilled or otherwise purified tap water. Take unwanted worms and garbage to trash, which is often offsite (wanted worms can be saved).
- Drain water from boat, ballast tanks and motor. Drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs. Keep drain plugs out and all water-draining devices open for travel.
- Finish tying down the boat and securing equipment for travel.
- Click here for more information about best practices for launching boats.