Private businesses are starting to cash in on the war on invasive species, offering boat decontamination for a fee.
Last Wednesday, one Excelsior business started offering decontamination services for wakeboard boats and other boats to rid them of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species before they go out on nearby Lake Minnetonka and Christmas Lake. Minnesota Inboard Water Sports offers the service, which costs $49.99, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week at 340 Hwy. 7, Excelsior.
The state Department of Natural Resources decontaminates boats for free, but rotates its portable units to public accesses around the metro, including Lake Minnetonka and Christmas Lake. Boaters can't request the service; a DNR boat inspector has to first determine invasive species are present.
This year, the DNR added 20 units to its decontamination fleet, which use high-pressure, high-heat water to get rid of invasive species. The process can take between 10 to 30 minutes to complete.