DNR partners with local governments for
record number of watercraft inspectors
The Department of Natural Resources has been partnering with local governments such as counties and cities to increase the number of watercraft inspectors at public water accesses in Minnesota. Inspectors are an important component in the effort to protect state waters from aquatic invasive species.
This year, more local governments than ever have signed delegation agreements with the DNR, allowing them to hire local authorized watercraft inspectors. These local inspectors are managed by the counties, cities, and soil and water conservation districts and have the same authority as DNR inspectors.
DNR staff has trained more than 660 local government watercraft inspectors since April, in addition to the DNR’s 100 watercraft inspection staff. “These partnerships have been very successful in increasing the number of inspectors at public water accesses around the state,” said Adam Doll, watercraft inspection program coordinator.
“Increased watercraft inspectors add to the efforts to protect Minnesota’s waters from aquatic invasive species by adding more eyes in the field and providing valuable education on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species,” Doll said.
Under a law passed by the state Legislature in 2014, counties statewide were allocated a total of $4.5 million in 2014, $10 million in 2015, and $10 million each year after that to prevent the introduction or limit the spread of aquatic invasive species at access sites within the counties.
Some counties are using a portion of the money to employ their own local watercraft inspectors.
These inspectors receive initial training from the DNR, but they are employed and supervised by the counties or other local governments.
In addition to inspections, watercraft inspectors focus on teaching boaters to:
- Clean their watercraft;
- Drain all water by removing drain plugs, and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft;
- Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
To reduce the risk of transporting aquatic invasive species, the DNR also recommends that boaters:
- Spray boat with high-pressure water.
- Rinse boat with hot water (120 degrees for two minutes, or 140 degrees for 10 seconds).
- Dry boat and equipment for at least five days.
All watercraft inspectors should be clearly identified by hiring unit. Inspectors all ask the same questions and go through the same watercraft inspection process. If you have any questions about the watercraft inspection process or comments on your experience with a watercraft inspector, please note the date, time and location and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org so a DNR staff person can respond.