Cass SWCD rolls out countywide AIS prevention program
The Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is ready to implement the first year of an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) prevention program.
Becoming educated on the threats AIS pose and taking steps to prevent their introduction is everyone’s responsibility, whether they live on a lake or not. Everyone enjoys going to the lake — anglers to catch their biggest fish for stories later, water-skiers to show off their latest tricks or the couple going on a relaxing boat ride around the lake.
All must take part in the reduction of AIS in Minnesota’s waters.
This program is being funded by many resources: Cass SWCD, Cass County, Cass County lake associations, area townships and the Department of Natural Resources.
Several lakes in the area will have inspectors posted at boat landings. These inspectors have been through training and are certified in AIS prevention and education.
It is important for everyone to take part in AIS prevention. It’s as easy as taking these three steps to help ensure your boat and water-related equipment is safe to enter area lakes:
Clean: Clean your boat, trailer and any water-related equipment of aquatic plants and animals and dispose of properly.
Drain: Drain your boat by removing the drain plug, emptying any ballast tanks, drain bilge, live wells and bait containers.
Dry: Dry your boat, trailer and water-related equipment for at least five days.
Remember, it is illegal to transport any live or dead AIS, and you must leave drain plugs out while transporting your watercraft.
Boaters can also use high pressure washers with water temperatures at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 seconds to make sure invasive species are removed from their watercraft since they are hard to locate on equipment.
This program is new to Cass County, and with the support of the Cass SWCD and the public, the county hopes to ensure safe and fun lake activities for everyone without the detrimental effects of AIS invading area lakes.
Inspections will start Memorial Day weekend and run through Labor Day covering lakes by Walker, Hackensack, Backus, Longville, Remer, Outing and Pillager.
For more information, contact Stephanie Shearen, AIS coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-547-7246.