Minnesota's 800,000 boaters would be subject to mandatory boat inspections for invasive species before launching their craft, under a bill approved Thursday by a House-Senate conference committee.
The bill also requires boat owners to pass a course on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species before they could trailer their boats anywhere. Those hauling other water-related equipment, such as docks or boat lifts, also would have to pass the course.
Those passing the course would get a trailer decal that would allow them to transport their boat. Though the decal would be mandatory, a violation is punishable only by a warning, under the bill.
The bill, which now goes before the Legislature's full House and Senate, gives the Department of Natural Resources authority to establish regional inspection stations at or near water accesses.