Watonwan County receives state funding for the Prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species in our lakes and rivers. Our focus is through education and outreach, providing information to our residents to equip them with the necessary tools.
What are Aquatic Invasive Species?
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that live primarily in water and thrive in their new environment, often out-competing native species and can cause economic loss, environmental damage, and harm to human health.
In Minnesota there are many aquatic invasive plants and animals. Watonwan County lakes and rivers currently have Curly-leaf pondweed and Purple loosestrife. Other well known AIS to be on the look out for but not limited to are Zebra Mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, and Starry stonewart.
Clean In & Clean Out
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 a watercraft.
DISPOSE of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is ILLEGAL to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait, you must refill the bait container with bottle or tap water.