Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
AIS are non-native plants, animals, and pathogens that harm water resources. AIS infestations can affect property values, recreation, and the natural heritage of public and private lands.
Becker Soil and Water Conservation District launched an AIS prevention program for Becker County in 2015. Our goal is to prevent the establishment of new AIS within the county and to contain current infestations. Becker SWCD has several strategies for accomplishing this goal including education, watercraft inspection, watercraft decontamination, and rapid-response treatment of new infestations.
Become an AIS Inspector! Join a network of citizen scientists and learn how to identify and report AIS.
Motivated adults over the age of 18 can become AIS Detectors! It’s ideal for AIS managers, citizen scientists, lake association members, Master Naturalists, and any member of the public who has a desire to learn more about and get involved in the fight against AIS. Learn more at: https://www.maisrc.umn.edu/ais-detector
This boating season, We have 32 watercraft inspectors working at public access sites across the county. These inspectors are trained by the DNR, and are authorized to deny lake access to watercraft that are transporting AIS. These inspectors will provide information and hands-on education to lake access users throughout the boating season.
Becker SWCD operates 4 mobile decontamination units, providing free AIS decontamination services at Big Detroit, Melissa, Bad Medicine, and Lake Ida.
Decontamination services are also available on-call during unscheduled dates from 8:00 am-7:00 pm. To schedule a decontamination, call program coordinator Karl Koenig at 218-849-6438.
For locations and hours elsewhere visit the MN DNR’s decontamination website.
Please follow these simple required actions to protect local waters:
1. CLEAN all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers, and water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.
2. DRAIN water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property. Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.
3. DISPOSE of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.
Education is Key!
Education is a critical component of our program, because widespread adoption of AIS prevention practices is the only way to effectively curb their spread. We provide educational presentations to schools, lake associations, and community organizations. For more information, email our AIS Coordinator, Karl Koenig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is this an Invasive?
Becker SWCD can also assist homeowners and boaters with the identification and reporting of potential AIS discoveries. For more information on the identification and reporting of AIS, visit: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/aquatic_id.html
If you find something you suspect to be an invasive plant or animal, record the location and report the incident to a DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ais/contacts.html