LLAA's President, Jeff Bjorkland, has shared three recent news releases from Minnesota's DNR. They contain good suggestions for fall cabin close down.
[In addition, all of the DNR's latest news releases can be seen by following this link: http://news.dnr.state.mn.us/]
1. Prevent spread of aquatic invasive species during 'cabin close-up' season
Labor Day has come and gone and soon Minnesotans will be raking leaves and preparing for winter. But the switch from summer to fall means a new season where Minnesotans must be vigilant to prevent and curb the spread of aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers important legal reminders and tips that apply to cabin and lakeshore owners as well as boaters.
WATERCRAFT TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE
When removing watercraft from lakes or rivers at the end of the boating season, there are two important things to know:
First, it is illegal to transport any watercraft, which have zebra mussels, faucet snails or other prohibited invasive species attached, away from a water access or other shoreland property even if it is to put them in storage for the winter.
Second, to accommodate the thousands of boaters that face that dilemma, the DNR developed a special one-way pass, or DNR authorization form. The form allows boaters to transport watercraft to a location for removing prohibited species and storage, or once cleaned to a storage location such as a garage or boat shed.
The forms are available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ais_transport.html . The DNR form must be filled out and carried in the vehicle during transport. The form includes conditions that zebra mussels or other species must be removed prior to subsequent transport from the decontamination or storage location, such as back to the water in the spring.
STORING LIFTS AND DOCKS FOR WINTER
Shoreland owners and lake service providers may legally take water-related equipment out of infested waters, even if it has zebra mussels or other prohibited invasive species attached, and place it on the adjacent shoreline property. Boat lifts, docks, swim rafts, weed rollers, irrigation equipment or pumps can be taken out of infested waters and placed on shore without a permit.
However, if people choose to move equipment from any lake or river to another water body, visible zebra mussels and faucet snails must be removed, and it has to go through a 21-day drying period before it can be placed in other waters.
Next spring, docks, lifts and swim rafts stored on shoreline property may be legally placed back into the same water without removing zebra mussels and other nonnative species.
WATERCRAFT AND WATER EQUIPMENT INSPECTIONS
When people pull their watercraft or water-related equipment out of the water for the season, they should be sure to inspect it and see if aquatic invasive species are attached. People should look on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged in water for any extended period. In newly infested waters, adult zebra mussels may not be abundant, so there may only be a few mussels on a piece of equipment.
Shoreland owners should check for adult zebra mussels, which are yellowish-tan and brown striped, and range in size from one-eighth inch to about one inch long.
People who find something they suspect is a zebra mussel, faucet snail or other aquatic invasive species should take a picture of it, keep a specimen, and report it to the nearest DNR invasive species specialist. A listing of specialists is available on the DNR's website at www.mndnr.gov/ais .
The DNR believes that personal responsibility is the key to successfully preventing and curbing the spread of aquatic invasive species. The agency is counting on the public and businesses to follow the law. Without public cooperation, the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species increases.
2. DNR says hire AIS-certified lake service provider this fall when removing docks, boatlifts and other water-related equipment
Fall is the time when lakeshore and cabin owners will be hiring lake service providers to remove their boats, docks, boat lifts and other water-related equipment.
To be vigilant against the potential spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS), any business or person hired to do such work must have the proper permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
This year, more than 780 businesses were trained and issued lake service provider permits during 43 trainings sessions conducted throughout the state. A list of the permitted providers is available on the DNR website at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/permits/lsp/lsp-permits.pdf .
Lake service providers that have completed AIS training from the DNR and obtained their service provider permit will have a yellow permit sticker in the lower driver's-side corner of their vehicle's windshield.
Employees of lake service providers complete a short, online course so they are more familiar with the AIS issues and know what to look for when installing or removing water-related equipment. Currently, more than 2,230 employees of lake service provider businesses have taken the online AIS training. Employees who complete AIS training are issued a business card size certificate they must carry with them.
Businesses, organizations or individuals who need permits or training can find out more at www.mndnr.gov/lsp .
The DNR believes that personal responsibility is the key to successfully preventing and curbing the spread of aquatic invasive species. The agency is counting on the public and water-recreation businesses to follow the law. Without their cooperation, the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species increases.
3. Waterfowl hunters reminded to avoid spreading invasive species
With the hunting season upon us, it's waterfowl hunters' turn to help Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Hunters must take steps to avoid inadvertently transporting aquatic invasive species during the upcoming hunting season. Without the proper precautions, invasive species such as purple loosestrife, faucet snails, Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels could be transported in waterfowl hunters' boats, decoys or blind material.
Invasive species can damage habitat for waterfowl, fish and other wildlife, and even cause die-offs of waterfowl.
"After hunting, take a few minutes to clean plants and mud and drain water from duck boats, decoys, decoy lines, waders and push poles," said Christine Herwig, DNR invasive species specialist. "It's the key to avoiding the spread of aquatic invasive species in waterfowl habitat."
The DNR recommends that waterfowl hunters switch to elliptical, bulb-shaped or strap decoy anchors that won't easily collect submergent aquatic plants. Like all users, waterfowl hunters should also drain water and remove plants and animals from boats and equipment.
Waterfowl hunters should remember that they must cut cattails or other plants above the water line when using them as camouflage for boats or blinds.
To kill or remove life stages of invasive species such as seeds or young zebra mussels that are difficult to see, the DNR recommends that boaters use a high-pressure spray, or a hot water rinse before launching into another water body. Rinse water should be at least 104 degrees.