• Starting this month, boaters will be subjected to mandatory roadside check stations for invasive species inspections.
• New laws require all businesses that repair, launch and store boats and install and remove buoys, docks and boat lifts to complete extra training, pass a test and apply for a three-year permit that costs $50. Employees must take an online training course and receive a certificate.
• Beginning July 1, fines for those caught violating the invasive species laws -- which currently range from $50 to $250 -- will double to $100 to $500.
• Also beginning July 1, boat lifts, docks, swim rafts and other water-related equipment (except boats and other watercraft) that are removed from any water body may not be placed in another water body for at least 21 days, to kill invasive species that might be attached.
• Starting July 1, 2015, boat owners will have to pass an online course on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species before they can trailer their boats. Those hauling docks or boat lifts also will have to pass the course. Those completing the course will get a trailer decal that allows them to legally transport their boat.
• The DNR has installed 47 billboards along major highways, and increased TV, radio and print advertising on invasive species prevention.
Boaters are required to:
• Clean visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited species off watercraft, trailers and equipment before leaving any water access.
• Drain water from the boat's bilge, live well, motor, ballast tanks and portable bait containers before leaving any water access or shoreline property.
• Keep drain plug out and water draining devices open while transporting watercraft.
Find more information at www.startribune.com/a1332.