Recently we were inspected for invasive species while putting our kayaks and my daughters Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) in Pike Lake.  This had previously happened with our fishing boat, but was surprised to find that they also checked kayaks.  Something caught our eye on the lake that raised the question of what they do and do not inspect.

My story starts a few weeks back, my husband has been working on restoring a boat.  When he said it was lake worthy enough (key word:  enough) to take out fishing, I was leery but went with anyhow.  As we waited for our turn at the boat launch a young DNR representative came up and asked to inspect our boat for invasive species.

I was actually hoping he might say we couldn't launch because it didn't look safe enough, but we took it out and I held my breath.  We were out for about an hour and questionable weather ended our fishing that day.  As we pulled the boat out of St. Louis River Bay the same DNR rep approached and asked if he could inspect the boat again.  He pulled a weed off one of the props and said we were good to go.

What they are looking for is the presence of invasive species, the most common at this time, the zebra mussel.  It looks somewhat like a clam and I have actually caught a clump of some on my fishing line before.  They're harmful because they eat what some of the fish thrive on and if they multiply they can clog our waterways.  Thus, the boat inspections by the DNR.

While we were enjoying the warm weather and paddling around Pike Lake we noted a couple of float planes docked with their pontoons in the water and that raised a question.  The float planes are just like boats, in one lake, flown to another and landed, thus transferring water and quite possible invasive species, right?  How does the DNR or does the DNR even have a plan in place to inspect float planes?  We asked the DNR rep at Pike Lake that evening, he was a bit unsure but said he thought "no, it would be impossible for them to inspect".  But, doesn't that mean this is a source of invasive species transportation from lake to another?  I'm not trying to start the next movement of invasive species inspections, I'm just curious if anyone knows anything different than what we were told.

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