I recently received an email form Vern Wagner, head of Anglers for Habitat, which is a non-profit alliance of anglers dedicated to the preservation and improvement of aquatic habitat, clean water and fishing in Minnesota. Thought I would share...
Recently I attend the first of four DNR AIS Stakeholder meetings to sort through recommendations for Prevention and Containment of AIS. The folks who made these recommendations were primarily from Lakeshore Associations, lake cabin owners and environmental groups.
They have a plan. But it's not the plan I would endorse. Listed below are some of their ideas.
The purpose to the three next meetings, is to sort through the proposals and develop a plan that incorporates the most realistic and obtainable. I'm concerned that this list are the only alternatives that they are looking at. Despite the outcome of these DNR Stakeholder meetings, I'm guessing that this group (which is rallying under the group Citizens AIS Initiative). Attached is a listing of the groups and individuals involved with this group.
Loss of boat, motor and trailer if found to have any fragment of any AIS while on any public road Misdemeanor for any aquatic plant while on the road License each boat for just one lake and one lake only, restrict that boat from entering other lakes Quarantine infested waters and have law enforcement personnel available to ensure all boats are cleaned Restrict access points to only those with inspection Mark any boat with a sticker to show it has been on infested water Require a permit for any boat at checkpoints and fine any without. Require inspections of any boats entering the State. Require a permit for any boat leaving it's home lake. Establish a two tier boat license for boats that travel between lakes Establish a Red boat Blue boat sticker for boats and restrict Red boats from Blue lakes Require a Special use Permit to use accesses and multiple lakes Require a boat operators license and required AIS education Close all public accesses on lakes that are not DNR controlled. Mandatory Boat inspections on all infested waters Require all fishing tournaments regardless of size to register and require mandatory education one month before the tournament. Close all lakes with an AIS to tournaments Quarantine "Super Spreader lakes , close public access to send a message (what the heck are Super Speader lakes)
-- Anglers for Habitat is a non-profit alliance of anglers dedicated to the preservation and improvement of aquatic habitat, clean water and fishing in Minnesota.
Wow. Some of those are pretty draconian. Lose your boat if you have one little leaf stuck under your trailer where you couldn't see it? Or not be able to use your boat on more than one lake? Those suggestions are clearly from lakeshore owners who either have a boat that never leaves the lake they live on or don't have a boat at all.
How about someting a little simpler, like providing washdowns at boat ramps so people can at least rinse off their boats? I realize that has its own issues, such as cost and on a busy weekend there is no way people will wait to use the washdown, but it might be a start.
Prevention and Containment of AIS - - -
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If you've got short, stubby fingers and wear reading glasses, any relaxation you would normally derive from fly fishing is completely eliminated when you try to tie on a fly. ~ Jack Ohman, Fear of Fly Fishing, 1988