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Pioneer Viewpoints: Keep our lakes free of AIS

Pioneer Editorial Board

We know we have been beating the drum about fighting Aquatic Invasive Species this summer, but recent news that a boat exiting Lake Bemidji was found to have dead zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil is another wake-up call for all of us. Per the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, make sure you:

• Clean all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers, and water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.

• Drain water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property.Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.

• Dispose of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is illegal to release live bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your live bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.