Boat inspections are now underway for the 2020 boating season. The District has engaged WaterGuards, a company based in St. Joseph, Minnesota, to conduct inspections at the three public boat launches on Prior and Spring Lake.
Inspectors inspect boats for aquatic invasive species (AIS) prior to entering and after leaving the lake. The goals of inspections are to prevent the introduction of new AIS into local lakes, stop AIS already present from spreading to new lakes and educate boaters on AIS.
The District’s AIS boat inspections are meant to supplement the Minnesota DNR’s boat inspection hours at the three launches. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic the DNR has not yet started boat inspections this year. At this time, WaterGuards is currently covering the hours (primarily Friday-Sunday) the DNR would normally be inspecting. Inspection times are focused around predicted higher traffic times. The DNR has not yet announced their plans for 2020 AIS boat inspections.
Once an invasive species is introduced into a lake, it is impossible to eradicate and reducing or managing the growth of established aquatic invasive species is often very expensive. Prevention or early detection is an important component to effectively managing AIS.
Currently known AIS present in Prior Lake are zebra mussels, curlyleaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil and curlyleaf pondweed in Spring Lake.