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Registration open for AIS detection training program

Registration is now open for AIS Detectors, a volunteer network and science-based training program created by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension.

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Curly-leaf pondweed is a non-native, invasive submersed aquatic plant. It is generally the first pondweed to come up in spring and dies in mid-summer. Leaves have undulating and finely serrated edges. Curly-leaf pondweed has caused problems in lakes by producing extensive mats in 3 to 10 feet of water. The plant is often a problem in lakes with low water clarity, mid-summer Secchi depths of three feet or less.

Registration is now open for AIS Detectors, a volunteer network and science-based training program created by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension.

Participants will learn how to properly identify and report new findings of AIS, such as starry stonewort, zebra mussels, round goby and others. After being trained, AIS detectors will serve a critical role by searching for new AIS infestations, providing outreach in their communities and helping AIS researchers in the field.

The program is ideal for motivated adults over age 18, including AIS managers and inspectors, lake association members, Master Naturalists and anyone else who wants to learn more about AIS. Detectors will learn how to identify 11 aquatic invasive species that are threatening Minnesota, as well as their common lookalike species.

The program consists of a self-paced online course and one in-person workshop. A workshop will be held in Brainerd on May 18. The online course must be completed beforehand.

The course fee is $195, which includes unlimited access to the online course, a printed training manual, the full-day in-person workshop (including refreshments and lunch), an AIS identification field guide and networking opportunities with other AIS detectors and experts.

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To learn more and to register, visit www.aisdetectors.org .

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