Water Quality & Aquatic Invasive Species

2010 Legislative Accomplishments

Water Quality & Aquatic Invasive Species

  1. Boat Ramp Moratorium: Rep. Dill and Senator Bakk introduced a measure to provide a five-year moratorium on the construction of new DNR boat ramps on lakes that do not currently have them. This is a common sense approach to controlling the spread of AIS until real mitigation policies can be put in place. MSRPO supported and testified on behalf of the bill.

    MSRPO was the only organization to come out in support; those opposed were the DNR and the MN Anglers for Habitat. Minnesota Waters did not support the bill, despite requests from MSRPO to join us in this effort.

    The measure did not survive conference committee. MSRPO will continue to push for better AIS control and mitigation.

  2. "Pull-the-Plug:" MSRPO advocated a DNR-sponsored bill that requires boat owners to drain bilge, live well and other water, including bait buckets, before leaving a landing. The bill passed.
  3. Increased Penalties: MSRPO also tried but failed to increase penalties for those transporting AIS, or failing to meet other AIS laws.

In a state where the taking of a deer illegally costs citizens very little but elicits a thousand dollar fine and possible jail time, it is ridiculous that transporting AIS into a lake, which causes potentially hundreds of millions of dollars damage, might receive a fine as low as $50. It is time to get tough on AIS.

In 2011, MSRPO will work to create a two-tiered boat license fee system that rewards those who do not move boats between lakes, gives boat tab fee reductions to those who complete an on-line AIS education program, increases money for AIS management, and increases penalties for AIS transportation to the point that the penalties create a true deterrent. We are open to ideas and suggestions. The goal is to Stop the Spread of AIS to your lake.