The Park Board has circulated the following item:
PARK BOARD ACTS TO PREVENT AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES FROM ENTERING CITY LAKES
Actions Include Controlled Boat Launch Hours and Increased Inspections
At its June 20, 2012 meeting, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) http://www.minneapolisparks.org/home.asp adopted an emergency resolution aimed at preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) from entering Minneapolis lakes.
The recommended actions in the resolution include requiring an inspection for AIS before a person launches any water-related equipment at the public boat launches on Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis. Inspectors will be on duty at each boat launch during the times of the day and days of the week that people are most likely to launch boats. These hours are:
• Monday – Thursday: 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
• Friday – Sunday: 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Inspection hours begin July 13 and will run through Sept. 30, 2012.
Additionally, the action taken by the Board immediately closes the public boat launch at Wirth Lake. The removal of the current boat launch and construction of a new emergency and maintenance-only launch on the west side of the lake was part of the Theodore Wirth Regional Park Community Advisory Committee’s recommendations put forward to the Board on Wednesday evening.
“The lakes are the crown jewels of our park system, so protecting them from aquatic invasive species is a very high priority for our Board,” said John Erwin, MPRB president. “We all can see the detrimental impact of milfoil on our lakes, and the Park Board is committed to ensuring that our lakes can be enjoyed for years to come by protecting them from new invasive species.”
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has increased AIS inspections and enforcement throughout the state. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index_aquatic.html
Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to transport invasive aquatic plants and animals, as well as water, from water bodies infested with aquatic invasives. Violators could face fines up to $500. Some penalty amounts will double beginning July 1.
To help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, anglers and boaters are required by law to:
• Drain bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access.
• Remove aquatic plants from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive species.
• Pull the plug on their boat and drain all water when leaving all waters of the state.
• Keep the drain plug out while transporting water-related equipment on roadways.
“Once an aquatic invasive species gets established, it’s very difficult – if not impossible – to eliminate it,” said Debra Pilger, Director, Environmental, Equipment and Volunteer Services. “That’s why it’s important to do everything we can to prevent aquatic invasives from entering in the first place.”
Pilger added that the preventative measures approved by the Board are for 2012 only.
“We’ll be looking at a full range of long-term options for AIS prevention over the fall and winter,” noted Pilger. “We’ll talk with recreational users of the lakes, the DNR, and others to determine what we’ll do in the future to provide access to the lakes while we protect them from aquatic invasives.”
View the attached FAQ for answers to potential questions regarding the Board’s resolution.