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Little McDonald-Kerbs, Paul Lakes watercraft inspections to be conducted

"Pick it or Ticket." That's what will happen if people don't do their part to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The public access points for Little McDonald-Kerbs and Paul Lakes will be monitored by watercraft inspectors on a weekly basis.

These DNR trained inspectors are part of a grant obtained from the DNR by the Little Mac, Paul and Kerbs Lakes Improvement District and the Kerbs and Little McDonald Lakes Association. The inspectors will also be educating boaters about a new law that was effective on July 1, requiring boaters to now remove the drain plug and drain all water before leaving any lake and river in Minnesota.

"Our lakes and rivers are too important to take for granted," explained Larry Kramka, DNR Assistant Commissioner.

"Boaters need to be accountable and personally responsible to prevent the further spread of aquatic invasives." The water draining law is intended to help prevent the spread of fish diseases such as VHS, and invasive species such as spiny water fleas and zebra mussels that cannot be seen when free-floating in the water in early life stages.

Boaters are required

by law to:

-Remove aquatic plants and zebra mussels from boats and trailers.

-Drain all water, including pulling the drain plug, open water draining devices and draining bilges and live wells.

-Drain bait buckets when exiting lakes that have been designated as infested with spiny water flea or zebra mussels. Anglers can keep unused bait when leaving infested waters if they replace the water with tap or spring water.

1. It is unlawful to transport aquatic plants on public roads or to place a watercraft or trailer with aquatic plants attached into the state's waters.

2. It is unlawful to transport a watercraft with lake or river water in the bilge, live-well, ballast tanks, or other boating equipment-excluding portable bait containers and marine sanitary systems. (Drain plug must be removed

and water-draining devices must be opened while on a pubic road.)

It is important for citizens and visitors to take the necessary steps to help contain the spread of the numerous aquatic invasive species that are threatening our lakes such as: Zebra mussels, Eurasian water milfoil, spiny water fleas, flowering red rush and curly pond weed. Some of these are already in Ottertail County lakes.

This public information message has been provided by the Little McDonald-Kerbs Lakes Association.