By KELLY SMITH
Boaters, be advised: The invasive species inspectors are cutting back their hours at city lakes starting Monday. With winter approaching, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is ending the increased inspection hours at Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis that were implemented earlier this year to ratchet up control of lakes and decrease the spread of invasive species.
In a contentious move in June, the Park Board unanimously approved the emergency resolution requiring boats entering its lakes to be inspected, chaining off boat launches during weekday afternoons and other times when inspectors aren’t present. The policy was more stringent than state law, which doesn’t require boat checks unless an inspector is there.
Some inspections will continue during peak lake hours through the end of fall, mostly on weekends. The city is cutting back on inspections because, in winter months, boat traffic decreases as does the reproduction of invasive species such as zebra mussels.
The city is also seeking input from the public to revise a final boat inspection policy for 2013. To complete a survey, go online in mid-November to www.minneapolisparks.org/ais; people can also comment in person at a public meeting slated for the end of the year or via phone at 612-313-7782.