Aquatic Invasive Species
Minneapolis waters are threatened by aquatic invasive species (AIS), which are species that are not native to Minnesota and cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Once an aquatic invasive species gets established, it's very difficult, if not impossible to eliminate it.
MPRB Working to Protect our City's Natural Resources
Minnesota's natural resources are threatened by a number of invasive species, which can occur on land or in the water. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is known for taking a leadership role in ensuring that our park system can be enjoyed for years to come by protecting them from invasive species. This includes the prevention and management of numerous invasive species including zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, emerald ash borer, Dutch elm disease, buckthorn, and more.
Boat Launch Inspections
All boats, watercraft and watercraft equipment entering and exiting from the public boat launches on Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis will require inspections for AIS. Canoes and kayaks entering the water from storage racks, or watercraft carried over the shoreline at other access points will not require an inspection. Launches will be closed when AIS inspectors are not on site.
Click to read the Aquatic Invasives FAQs.
As a reminder, gas powered motors are not allowed on Minneapolis city lakes. If you have a gas powered motor on your boat, it must be propped up and out of the water. Only electric trolling motors are allowed to be used on Minneapolis lakes.
Boat Launch Inspection Hours
Launches will open (conditions permitting) with DNR trained AIS inspectors present starting May 1, 2014 during launch hours:
May 1-Sept 1: 6 am-10 pm daily
Sept 2-Oct 31: 6 am-8 pm daily
Nov 1-Dec 1:
- 7 am-5 pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Launches open
- 7 am-5 pm Monday-Thursday: On-call Program*
*A phone number will be posted at the launch in November (Monday-Thursday) for boaters to call for an inspection. After the inspection, the launch will be opened to allow boaters on to the lake. Boater must call to be let off the lake and have a post-inspection. Boaters not exiting the lake by 5 pm must secure their boat and return for it the next day.
Other AIS Prevention Efforts
In addition to watercraft inspections, MPRB also implemented the following the following actions to prevent the spread of AIS:
- AIS education and outreach efforts
- Lake usage data collection at the launches
- Signage and additional trash receptacles to encourage proper bait disposal at launches, fishing docks, and high use shoreline fishing areas
- Developing an AIS Rapid Response Plan for future Board adoption
- Early detection monitoring
- Staff education
AIS Prevention in the Future
Park Board staff will continue to evaluate and improve its AIS prevention program from year to year. AIS Inspectors will be collecting data during inspections to continue to help inform decisions about future efforts.
Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to transport aquatic plants and animals as well as water, to and from water bodies. Failure to comply with Minnesota AIS regulations can result in fines up to $1,000.
Help Protect Your Waters
If you are a lake user do your part to prevent the transport of aquatic invasive species from one lake, river or creek to another. Protect Minnesota’s waters by following the state aquatic invasive species laws.
- Clean visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited species from watercraft, trailers, and equipment before transporting from any water access.
- Drain water from bilge, livewell, motor, ballast tanks, and portable bait containers before leaving water accesses or shoreline property.
- Keep drain plug out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.
- Dump unwanted bait in the trash.
You May Not:
- Transport aquatic plants, water, or prohibited invasive species such as zebra mussels or Eurasian watermilfoil.
- Dump live bait into state waters, on shore, or on the ground.
- Launch, or attempt to place, watercraft, trailers or equipment with aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or prohibited invasive species into any state waters.
Additional Recommended Precautions:
- To remove or kill hard-to-see aquatic invasive species before moving to other water bodies the following is advised:
- Spray with high-pressure water and rinse with very hot water and/or
- Dry boats and water-related equipment for at least five days
- Report new sightings of aquatic invasive species. If you suspect a new infestation of an invasive plant or animal, save a specimen and report it to a local natural resource office.
Additional AIS Prevention Information