Pelican Rapids, MN (WDAY TV) -- Aquatic Invasive Species are wreaking havoc across Minnesota and stopping the spread is no easy task. But in 2012 the DNR has dramatically ramped up its enforcement efforts, and on this July 4th holiday, it's making sure boaters know what to do.
Whether you're just jet skiing for a few hours or you've been on the lake several weeks...you will be inspected.
Bruce Anspach: "Basically we're looking for any plants or anything attached to the boat that's not supposed to be there."
The Zebra Mussels on Pelican Lake have made this one of the clearest lakes around, but while it may look good, it's terrible for the fishery.
These trained inspectors are stationed across Minnesota to make sure infestations like this don't spread.
Anspach: "We're there to educate the boater so that they can do the inspection themselves and know what to do and know what to look for."
And they aren't playing any games, starting July 1st, Invasive Species fines are doubling. Caught transporting Zebra Mussels? $500 fine.
Anspach: "I think the worst penalty is getting another lake infested because it's going to change the whole ecology of the lake."
If you're boat has been on the water for a while, you will most likely need to go through a full decontamination process. First they flush your entire boat with 160-degree water, and if that's not enough, the water coming out of this spray is hitting the boat at 3,100 pounds per square inch.
Rick Arechigo: "When we come here we need to do all this now, we've been through the system a few times here."
This weekend there will be 140 water craft inspectors at lakes just like this one, inspecting every nook and cranny. Pull your plugs. Drain your wells, and save some money.
For more information on Aquatic Invasive species, just go to our website, WDAY.com and click on the easy link.