Monday, July 12, 2010

Aliens Invading Minnesota! No, Really

"New law in Minnesota aimed at keeping invasive species from spreading"
WDAY TV (July 1, 2010)

"Tonight, there is a new law on the books in Minnesota that will change the way boaters leave a lake. Right now, 40-lakes in Minnesota have been infested with zebra mussels. The law that is now in effect is aimed at keeping the mussels and other invasive species from spreading.

"Jeff Peltier has spent most of his life on Pelican Lake, but is just beginning to see the consequences of un-checked boats.

"Jeff Peltier: 'Yeah, it is disappointing because we were way ahead of the curve working on this, and yet we got it.'..."

Basically, the new law says that folks using lakes must do what they should have been doing all along: emptying water out of their boats when they leave a lake. That includes live wells and bilges.

I'm not overly-fond of new regulations, but I think I understand the need for this one. Many Minnesota lakes have problems with exotic species: including the one that's a mile or so north of my home, Sauk Lake.

I've got a sort of admiration for non-native species that can endure a Minnesota winter.

The problem, as I understand it, is that critters like the zebra mussel are alien to Minnesota's lakes: and so they don't have natural predators. It's like the situation with dandelions in America and rabbits in Australia. Although I think Australia's rabbits have caused more trouble.

That WDAY TV article has a link to a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources page: "Invasive species publications."

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