As exciting as it can be to put out your dock and lift and get your lake property ready for the summer, it can be depressing to get everything ready for winter, but at least you can help the DNR.

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

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This should be the habit throughout the warmers months, but doing so is especially important this time of year.  According to the DNR, several new zebra mussel confirmations in recent years were initially reported by people removing docks, boats and boat lifts.

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 (link is external) to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The DNR offers these tips for lake property owners across the state:

  • 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 (link is external) 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 (link is external) if an invasive species is discovered in a waterbody that has not already been confirmed in that water.

You can click here for more information on aquatic invasive species.