Hennepin County Uses Inspections, Drones to Prevent Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
Hennepin County is preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species through a series of summer projects, which are funded by the state.
Invasive species in Lake Minnetonka include Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels and curly-leaf pondweed.
Tony Brough, the aquatic invasive species prevention coordinator said public boat accesses are one of the main ways invasive plants are spread from lake to lake. He also said water gardens, and pet release issues also spread invasive species.
Summer Projects Underway
A key way boaters can stop the spread is by cleaning their boats. The county partnered with CD3 to install boat cleaning stations. The stations prompt boaters of the steps they need to take.
“The thoughts that you need are clean, dry, dispose,” said Brough. “We really want you to clean your boat. Take a look under the trailer. Take all the plants off, those plants are also starting to get zebra mussels on it. So, you get a two for one.”
Boaters can also expect randomized inspections. Inspectors will be present at times and locations where they have not typically been present before. The main focus is on educating boaters about the steps they should take to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
The correct actions you need to take depend on what watercraft you have an dhow long you were on a lake.
- Click here for complete guidelines form the MN DNR.
Aerial Early Detection Pilot
Hennepin County, in partnership with Hughes Company Innovations, is conducting an innovative project for early detection of aquatic invasive species using an industrial drone. The drone will map about 50 acres on Medicine Lake.
The project will determine if the technology can be used for improvements with early detection, rapid response, and management of aquatic invasive species throughout the county and state.
“We love our lakes. Our season’s so short. Your action to help protect this is not only for our current generation but the generation Z that is coming up,” said Brough.