The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds lake property owners to check boats and trailers, docks and boat lifts, and all other water-related equipment for invasive species when removing equipment for seasonal storage.

While it’s always important to look for invasive species on boats, docks and other equipment, it is especially important at this time of year. Several new zebra mussel confirmations in recent years were initially reported by people removing docks, boats and boat lifts.

“Lake property owners play an important role in detecting invasive species, by carefully examining equipment when taking it out of the water at the end of the season,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor.

Minnesota law requires that docks and lifts remain out of the water for at least 21 days after removal from a waterbody before they can be placed into another body of water. In addition, anyone who transports a dock or lift from a shoreline property to another location for storage or repair may need a permit to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The DNR recommends these steps for lake property owners:

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  • Look on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged in water for an extended period.
  • Hire DNR-permitted lake service provider businesses to remove boats, docks, lifts and other water-related equipment. They have been trained on Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws and have experience identifying and removing invasive species.
  • Contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if an invasive species is discovered in a waterbody that has not already been confirmed in that water.

More information is available at mndnr.gov/AIS.