Boaters would have to pass course to trailer their boats

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 5, 2012 - 12:44 AM

Minnesota's 800,000 boat owners would have to pass a course on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species before they could trailer their boats anywhere, under a bill proposed by the Department of Natural Resources.

"We're envisioning it would be an online training course,'' said Luke Skinner, DNR invasive species specialist. "This would be required training so boaters know the laws and what they need to do to prevent the spread of invasive species.''

Those hauling other water-related equipment, such as docks or boat lifts, also would have the pass the course.

Also, fines for those caught violating invasive species laws would be doubled -- all part of increased efforts by the DNR to slow the spread of invading critters to Minnesota's waters. Some measures will be implemented this season, including random roadside boat checks and a requirement that boat owners place free DNR stickers on their boats spelling out invasive species requirements.

But the training requirement proposal wouldn't kick in until 2015, under the proposed bill.

"It would take a while for us to establish it,'' Skinner said.

Those successfully completing the training class would get a trailer decal valid for three years, and only trailers with the decals could legally haul boats.

The fine for failing to remove a drain plug from a boat while transporting it, now $50, would be boosted to $100. And the fine for transporting a boat or trailer with aquatic plants such as Eurasian water milfoil, now $50, would double to $100. The fine for transporting invasive animals, such as zebra mussels or spiny water fleas, now $250, would jump to $500.

The proposal also would require a 21-day waiting period when moving a dock, boat lift or swim raft from one body of water to another.

Help for ice anglers

The proposal also would exempt winter anglers from being forced to drain the water in their minnow buckets whenever they leave a lake, as is required now to prevent the spread of invasive species. Anglers must either exchange the water -- difficult to do in the winter -- or jettison the bait in the garbage.

"Anglers have been telling us they have to throw their bait away when they leave a lake,'' Skinner said.

He said invasive species, such as spiny water fleas or zebra mussels, aren't active in the winter, meaning they shouldn't be in water anglers use in their bait buckets.

"We think the risk is very, very low, so it seems like common sense to allow winter anglers to be able to do that,'' Skinner said.

Waterfowl symposium

Gov. Mark Dayton's appointment of Tom Landwehr as DNR commissioner was officially confirmed by the full Senate last week.

Meanwhile, Landwehr told about 60 people at the Minnesota Waterfowl Association's annual symposium in Bloomington on Saturday that loss of hunters and wildlife habitat are two of the biggest threats to hunting.

He urged the state's 88,000 waterfowl hunters to take a youth or friend hunting next fall to try to boost duck hunter numbers, which have fallen dramatically over the past 20 years. The state sold 88,000 waterfowl stamps last season, 2 percent more than 2010, but still among the lowest ever.

Landwehr also said the continued loss of grasslands from the federal Conservation Reserve Program, unless abated, will have dire consequences for ducks. Minnesota will lose 250,000 acres of CRP this year, he said.

DNR officials told the group they are considering adding a third duck zone to the state next fall in southern Minnesota, to provide late-season hunting opportunities.

Did you know?

• The Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza is set for Saturday on Gull Lake. See www.icefishing.org.

• Two reported cougar sightings near Hutchinson are being investigated. Anyone with information is asked to call conservation officer Brett Oberg at 320-234-3741.

•The deadline for youths to apply for mentored turkey hunts is Feb. 13. The hunts are April 21-22. For information, see startribune.com/a1016.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close