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prompt action on invasives issues - - - 8 messages. Showing 1 through 8.
BigBite
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 08:54 AM 01/24/11 (CST)
Pay Attention Folks! "including confiscation of boats and trailers, when appropriate... This could get dicey...

By Tim Spielman
Associate Editor

St. Paul — Could this be the year the DNR, legislators, and lake groups coalesce in a way that takes aquatic invasive species rules and awareness to a new level? The path is being cut.

Not only has the DNR formulated a wish list to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives in the state, but lake interests, too, are outlining rules they’d like implemented – and they’re recruiting legislators who might bring them to light in St. Paul.

Last week, nearly 250 people – including eight state representatives and senators – gathered in Detroit Lakes for the “Tri-County Aquatic Invasive Species Legislative Summit,” according to Dan Kittilson, president of the Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations.

“Basically, it was… to make legislators aware of the threat of invasive species and to seek their support and commitment,” Kittilson said this week. Otter Tail and Becker county officials also hosted the event.

But the summit wasn’t intended just to create awareness, Kittilson said; it was to prompt action on invasives issues.

“Hubbard County cannot afford to sit idly by and watch invasives coming into our lakes,” he said in press release announcing the summit. “We have to act now, in partnership with Becker and Otter Tail counties, to harness all available state, regional, and local resources in this fight before it’s too late and our lakes are irreparably harmed.”

Kittilson, who lives on the Mantrap Chain of Lakes near Park Rapids, said the Hubbard County COLA currently works with area resorts, as well as 29 lake associations (representing 40 lakes and 2,150 members) in the county, to share AIS information.
While Kittilson favors – once funding is secured – inspections to prevent the spread of invasives (zebra mussels are an example), along with containment of the invasives on “super-spreaders” like Mille Lacs, where zebes already exist, other groups would go further in attempting to curb AIS spread.

The Green Lake Property Owners Association in Kandiyohi County has on its website a list of recommendations.

Among them, the group advocates:
  • The state acquiring decontamination equipment by way of a fee system on watercraft that enter infested waters, or through a state contract with private operators. A biennial $50 fee, they say, could generate as much as $45 million;
  • A seal/tag system for boats leaving infested waters of the state, to document inspections and decontaminations;
  • Contaminated water bodies should be prioritized so that resources are allocated on the basis of risk posed by “super-spreader” lakes;
  • Greater regulation of fishing contests. A moratorium on fishing contests on those lakes with names beginning with letters A through J would be imposed in the year 2011 and all odd-numbered years thereafter. Those lakes with names beginning with letters K through Z would be subject to a moratorium on fishing contests in 2012 and all even-numbered years thereafter;
  • Severe penalties, including confiscation of boats and trailers, when appropriate, for moving a watercraft from access areas in infested waters without certified decontamination.

    The Green Lake group estimates the annual cost of its proposed program would be between $5 million and $10 million.

    The DNR’s list of actions to prevent the spread of invasives includes some similarities – putting more teeth in penalties, for example. The department believes $50 and $100 fines are too low, and don’t act as deterrents.

    The department also would like to see improvement in the state’s inspector program, something former DNR fisheries biologist and current fisheries activist Dick Sternberg also favors.

    Sternberg, though, cautions groups to be cautious in what they demand from stepped-up AIS species programs.

    “It’s going to take a lot of thought and it’s going to be expensive,” he said. “It’s going to be difficult.”

    Turn too many people off with new rules, he said, and a lack of support might be the downfall of proposed legislation.

    “You only get one shot at this,” he said.

    Sternberg said he’d like to see decontamination facilities available for boaters at places like Mille Lacs and Minnetonka.

    He believes Legacy Amendment funding should be made available for decontamination or other efforts aimed at curbing invasives.






  • Snarfy
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    Joined 04/25/2010
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    Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 03:44 PM 01/24/11 (CST)
    GOOD!!! IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!
    Any slob that can't take a few minutes to help prevent spreading invasive species SHOULD have his/her boat & equipment confiscated. Too bad they won't confiscate the ships bringing this crap in to the Great lakes.
    Logan
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    Joined 10/09/2007
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    Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 11:20 PM 01/24/11 (CST)
    We should kill all the geese,ducks and turtles who help spread invasive species throughout our lakes.



    FishCat
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    Joined 05/10/2005
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    Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 10:28 AM 01/25/11 (CST)
    Hey man, leave the turtles out of this.




    twitter: @MSPbass

    MonsterMechanic
    Junior Member
    Joined 01/25/2008
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    Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 02:59 PM 01/25/11 (CST)
    I've always wondering about installing pressure washers, like at a self service car wash, at public landings of some of these lakes. Maybe boat owners would be more willing to clean the boats and trailers if it's made easier for them.?.?

    Catch'em Fast!


    flippenstick
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    Joined 04/13/2005
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    Daily Subscription Msg 6 Posted: 01:34 PM 02/02/11 (CST)
    Invasive species are not new to Minnesota lakes. We were deluged with similar panic attack approaches when Eurasion milfoil was the hot topic. The milfoil has spread to some extent, just like the zebra mussel will.

    Awareness is a key factor in stopping the spread, not extensive fines and boat confiscations. Laws and fines don't stop people from driving while under the influence, yet we think we can stop the spread of an invasive transported to our area in the hulls of cargo ships through the Great Lakes. There is not much common sense coming into play in many of these decisions. We can increase fines, restrict usage, and ad more regulations but it will not eliminate the spread. It's like putting a band aid on a gaping wound. We need some deterents and education to help prevent the spread but we don't need outrageous fines and restrictions targeting specific groups without a proven basis for the restrictions.

    Brown signage used by the DNR at public accesses blends in nice with the environment, but is ineffective at getting peoples attention. We need signs that get peoples attention. This is not the time to blend in with the environment. The signage needs to be bold and grab your eye when you drive into an access. I don't know how many times I personally have informed someone at the access that this lake has special regulations while the signs were less than 10ft away.

    We are all in this thing together. Rather than pointing fingers and taking sides we need to rally together if we want to limit the spread of invasives. It should start with licensing, maybe a statement signed when licenses are purchased and boats are registered that states you understand the steps that need to be taken to prevent the spread of invasives. People need to understand what invasives are and how important it is to follow guidlines to prevent the spread. A pamphlet handed out just doesn't work. Bait shops, and convenience stores need signage. Resorts need to make guests aware of invasives. It's not just fisherman spreading invasives, even though they are being targeted.

    I believe the majority of avid boaters and fisherman are aware and take the precautions. It's the minority that we need to reach. The family who uses their boat once or twice during the summer. These are people who store their boat on a lift in infested water, load it up to take a family vacation on unifested water. Maybe a campaign to all lake propery owners, especially those who are on infested waters. Making sure they and their guests are aware. Many people use our lakes and rivers and the casual user is the one I think needs to be reached.

    I am not a bilogist or a professional when it comes to exotic species, but I am a tax paying fisherman in Minnesota who is concerned about the spread of exotics, and believe that special interest groups should not control our PUBLIC waters. You purchase property and live on a lake by your choice, it's not your lake!!
    Awareness is the key to helping the control of exotics.
    Pike Lover
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    Joined 02/11/2008
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    Daily Subscription Msg 7 Posted: 03:51 PM 02/02/11 (CST)
    "I am not a bilogist or a professional when it comes to exotic species, but I am a tax paying fisherman in Minnesota who is concerned about the spread of exotics, and believe that special interest groups should not control our PUBLIC waters. You purchase property and live on a lake by your choice, it's not your lake!!
    Awareness is the key to helping the control of exotics."

    Very well stated!

    I am all for common sence approaches, but also feel like many of the laws will be for not. If exotics are as easy to spread as we are being told, how can we stop it? We can pick visable weeds off of our boats and trailors, but think of all the places small things like milfoil specs can hide. I know the metal beams of my boat trailor have hollow cavities and so do most all other trailors. Can we really expect out trailors to be fully cleaned of exotics without tearing it appart after every use? Then there is the natural spread by animals. That is just two examples, there are so many more.

    The point about millfoil is interesting too. It has gotten to a point now were I hear fisherman talk about how milfoil has brought back fish populations in lakes due to it creating so much prime habitat. I am not suggesting we spread millfoil, or not try to stop it, but sometimes the scares feel a little like the flavor of the month.

    This asian carp thing scares the pee out of me though. I want to hear more about stopping them. Then again, remember the Northern Snakehead scare a few years back. Our waters were going to get taken over by them. We were told how they can crawl and live out of water. I have not heard anything about those in years.

    Now I am going to get ripped for not caring and being ignorant, which is not the case at all. Well maybe a bit ingnorant, but I do care very much.
    WebDude
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    Daily Subscription Msg 8 Posted: 06:51 PM 02/02/11 (CST)
    Hey flippenstick,

    Welcome to My Fishing Pals. Glad to have you aboard!



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    prompt action on invasives issues - - - 8 messages. Showing 1 through 8.
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