Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, May 14, 2001

Area lakes to be inspected for exotic species

Volunteers from Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties, representing numerous lakes in these counties, will be spending Memorial Day Saturday a little differently than might be expected.

Together with the Minnesota Conservation Corp (MCC) watercraft inspectors from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), they will be conducting an exotic species awareness event in these three counties on Saturday, May 26.

According to Tiffanie Knapp, DNR watercraft inspection program coordinator, the Shoreland Volunteers and inspectors will place special emphasis on busy lake accesses in Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties.

The watercraft inspection program usually focuses on public water accesses that already have an exotic species. On this day, inspectors will also spend time at accesses on lakes that do not already have exotic species.

"The focus of the awareness event is to teach people how to inspect and remove aquatic plants and animals from their boats and trailers to help slow the spread of exotic species," said Knapp. "We see Memorial Day weekend as a great time to reach a lot of people and spread the word about the threat of exotic species."

Preventing the spread of exotic species is a critical way in which the DNR is attempting to reduce the impact of exotics in Minnesota waterways.

For the past nine years, MCC watercraft inspectors have been talking to boaters throughout the state about the impacts of exotic species and the role each boater plays in slowing the spread of these harmful invaders.

"Through cooperative efforts such as this one, we can educate more people about exotics than the watercraft inspection program could ever do alone. We are very grateful for the initiative and the hard work the Shoreland Volunteers have invested in educating others about exotic species," said Knapp.

Volunteers from our area will be at the lakes of Howard, Big Waverly, and Ann along with the DNR personnel.

Information gathered by the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

For additional information, contact Tiffanie Knapp or Heidi Wolf, DNR Ecological Services, 651-284-3586

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