Otter Tail deputies assist with AIS enforcement

Since they began showing up in Pelican Lake about 10 years ago, zebra mussels have been attaching themselves to things like boat lifts and the hulls of watercraft. David Samson / The Forum

Watercraft inspectors are hired annually by the Otter Tail County Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force. They work closely with County AIS Task Force Specialist Spencer McGrew.

Now and then they receive assistance from county sheriff deputies. There are 134 public accesses in Otter Tail County. It’s at some of those locations where boat inspections take place each summer and early fall.

Before leaving a lake, fishermen are required to drain water from boats, motors and live-wells.

On July 20, watercraft inspectors informed the sheriff office when some boat and pontoon owners in the Pelican Rapids lakes area did not have proper permits or registration numbers.

Other issues have included illegal parking near intersections.


Sheriff deputies take seriously those who violate aquatic invasive species regulations.

Examples include entering lakes with water-related equipment that is prohibited

under aquatic invasive species state regulations.

At other times, invasive species that included zebra mussels and/or other species

have been unlawfully transported from another body of water to lakes in Otter Tail


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