Lakes and rivers in Dakota County are threatened by aquatic invasive species — non-native plants, animals or pathogens that live primarily in water and thrive in their new environment, often out-competing native species. Invasive species cause harm to the environment, economy and human health. See where aquatic invasive species infest Dakota County waters.
Dakota County receives aid from the Minnesota Department of Revenue to prevent the introduction or limit the spread of invasive species within the county. Dakota County partners with cities and lake associations to identify and implement cost-effective aquatic invasive species prevention projects through its AIS grant program.
Well-known aquatic invasive species in Dakota County include:
Dakota County Aquatic Invasive Species Plan
The Dakota County Aquatic Invasive Species Plan guides spending of the county’s Aquatic Invasive Species Aid from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. The plan outlines strategies to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species within the County and greater Minnesota.
Anglers and boaters can help stop the spread
Every angler and boater plays a vital role in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. Following aquatic invasive species laws helps protect waters from invasives and anglers and boaters from possible citations.
The law requires anglers and boaters to clean weeds and debris from their boats, remove drain plugs and keep them out while traveling, and dispose of unused bait in the trash. If everyone follows this simple procedure throughout the season, it’s possible to prevent new infestations caused by human activity.
Specially marked clean-and-drain areas at public water access points provide safe and convenient places to clean, drain and dispose.
Some aquatic invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them before moving to another body of water, the Department of Natural Resources recommends that anglers do one of the following:
- Spray boat with high-pressure water.
- Rinse boat with hot water (120 degrees for two minutes, or 140 degrees for 10 seconds).
- Dry boat and equipment for at least five days.
Become an aquatic invasive species detector
Dakota County is looking for volunteers to become aquatic invasive species (AIS) detectors. The commitment includes an online course and virtual workshops to learn
- Principles of aquatic ecology
- AIS identification, impacts and biology
- Minnesota regulations
- How to prevent the spread of AIS, perform surveillance and report potential AIS findings
Dakota County will reimburse the course fee for up to seven residents who complete it. To maintain active status, AIS detectors complete annual volunteer service and refresher training.
Aquarium owners can also introduce invasive species
Well-meaning aquarium owners sometimes introduce aquatic invasive species to lakes. If you have an undesirable species, do not release them into the environment. While most of these organisms will die, some may survive and negatively affect our natural environment.
Educate yourself about potential environmental consequences by going to the Habitattitude website.
For more information, contact Emily Gable at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-891-7008.