Beware of Dangerous Hitchhikers

     In an effort to warn water enthusiasts about the dangers that lurk below Governor Pawlenty has named June 23-30th Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers Week.  This is an effort to increase awareness of invasive species that can be unknowingly transported by anglers and recreational boaters.

     With the popular 4th of July Holiday right around the corner many Minnesotan’s are gearing up for a day on the water.  Unbeknownst to some they may be transporting and spreading invasive aquatic species to an uninfected body of water.  They may be carrying these hitchhikers on their boat, in their livewell or even on their trailers and could be fined for doing so.

      Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Watermilfoil and Spiny Waterfleas are present in many of Minnesota’s popular lakes and waterways.  They can easily hitchhike to other lakes if necessary precautions are not taken.  There are a few easy steps you can take to help prevent the spread of Aquatic Hitchhikers.

  1. Remove all plants and weeds from your boat and trailer before departing the landing.
  2. Drain all water from boat and livewell prior to your departure.
  3. Empty water from bait container and dispose of all unused bait.
  4. Clean and dry anything that came in contact with the water, including your dog.
  5. Do not release plants or fish into a body of water unless they came from that water.

     Please do your part in preventing the spread of these unwanted aquatic species and beware of the dangerous hitchhikers that may be lurking on your boat or belongings.  Join Governor Pawlenty in this first ever Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers Week from June 23-30th.