Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Aquatic Invasive Species in Minnesota

Reservation waters are threatened by a number of aquatic (water-based) invasive species such as zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil. Invasive species are species that are not native to an area and cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. The White Earth Natural Resources Department is focusing on helping prevent the spread and promote the education of invasive species on White Earth Reservation.

How do aquatic invasive species move from their natural range to new, distant places?

Ships take on ballast water in other countries for stability during the ocean crossing. This water is pumped out when the ships pick up their loads in Great Lakes ports. Many of the species, such as eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussel, ruffe, and spiny water flea arrived in the Great Lakes this way. But they are now being spread throughout the continent's interior in and on boats, docks and through other recreational activities.

Who is impacted by the spread of Aquatic invasive Species (AIS)?

If you are a water recreationist—boater, angler, leecher, ricer, water-skier, sailor, or canoeist—there are some important things you can do to prevent the transport of invasive species from one lake or river to another. In Minnesota it is illegal to transport prohibited invasive species. To see a list of all prohibited invasive species in Minnesota please refer to the Minnesota DNR website or coming soon this will be added to the White Earth Natural Resources web page.

What species threaten White Earth Reservation?

Currently the White Earth Reservation does not have infestations of some of the worst known species like zebra mussels or Eurasian watermilfoil but, they are getting close enough to knock on our doors.

Lake Winnibigoshish on the Leech Lake Reservation does have faucet snails. Erasian watermilfoil is found in Polk County and Detroit Lake has flowering rush. The potentially worst offender, zebra mussels, are found on Pelican Lake and some other lakes on the Pelican River system.

Some lakes are considered “Super Spreaders” these are lakes with high density boaters that come from many areas to recreate on, the most notable is Lake Mille Lacs. These waters are infested with several invasives from Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny water flea and zebra musssels. If you enjoy activities on Lake Mille Lacs please be aware of what could potentially be on your boat and how to clean it properly.

How do I prevent the spread of Invasive Species?

Clean your boat when you exit every lake. All vegetation should be removed it only takes a portion of these plants to cause an infestation, drain all water from live wells and leave the plugs out during transport. If you should purchase a used dock or raft make sure it is clean of all plant debris and is dry before launching it into our waters, this is how Pelican Lake became infested.

Faithfully practicing these tasks EVERYTIME will help us prevent the spread of invasive species to our Reservation waters. 

Here is a map of the infested waters and also the legal descriptions:

 

Pond #1, Township 142 North, Range 39 West, Section 14- S ½ NW ¼ SW ¼

Ponds #2 thru #4 and North half of #5, Township 142 North, Range 39 West, Section 15- SE ¼

Rest of Ponds #5 and #6, Township 142 North, Range 39 West, Section 22- NW ¼ NE ¼ & NE ¼ NW ¼

 

For a list of Infested Lakes, please click on the following link:   http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/invasives/infested_waters.pdf

 

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Will Bement

White Earth Water Division Manager

White Earth Natural Resources

PO Box 393, 216 N. Main Street

Mahnomen, MN 56557

Phone: (218) 935.2488 Ext. 2105

Fax: (218) 935.2524

Email: Will.Bement@Whiteearth-nsn.gov

 

 

 

 

White Earth Conservation Code

  Aquatic Invasive Species Rules and Regulations

 

“Invasive Species” means a non-native species that:

1)      Causes or may cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health; or

2)   Threatens or may threaten natural resources or the use of natural resources on the reservation.

DEFINITIONS

Subd. 1. Introduction."Introduce" means to place, release, or allow the escape of a nonnative species into a free-living state. Introduce does not include:

(1)    the immediate return of a nonnative species to waters of the state from which the nonnative species was removed; or

(2)    the seasonal return of nonnative species attached to water-related equipment, such as a dock or boat lift, that has been stored on riparian property and directly returned to the same waters of the reservation from which the water-related equipment was removed.

Subd. 2. Inspect. "Inspect" means to examine water-related equipment to determine whether aquatic invasive species, aquatic macrophytes, or water is present and includes removal, drainage, decontamination, or treatment to prevent the transportation and spread of aquatic invasive species, aquatic macrophytes, and water.

Subd. 3. Inspector. "Inspector" means an individual trained and authorized by the Reservation Tribal Council to inspect water-related equipment, a conservation officer, or a licensed peace officer.

Subd. 4. Service provider. "Service provider" means an individual who installs or removes watercraft, equipment, motor vehicles, docks, boat lifts, rafts, vessels, trailers, or other water-related equipment or structures from waters of the state for compensation.

Subd. 5. Transport. "Transport" means to cause or attempt to cause a species to be carried or moved into or within the reservation, and includes accepting or receiving the species for transportation or shipment. Transport does not include:

(1)    the movement of infested water or a nonnative species within a water of the state or to a connected water of the reservation where the species being transported is already present.; or

(2)    the movement of a nonnative species attached to water-related equipment or other water-related structures from a water of the reservation to the shore of riparian property on that water or the return of water-related equipment or structures from the shore into the same water of the reservation .

Subd. 6. Water-related equipment. "Water-related equipment" means a motor vehicle, boat, watercraft, dock, boat lift, raft, vessel, trailer, tool, implement, device, or any other associated equipment or container, including but not limited to portable bait containers, live wells, ballast tanks except for those vessels permitted under the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council, Natural Resource Department Agency vessel discharge program, bilge areas, and water-hauling equipment that is capable of containing or transporting aquatic invasive species, aquatic macrophytes, or water.

Subd. 7. Bait harvest from infested waters.

(a)    Taking wild animals from infested waters for bait or aquatic farm purposes is prohibited, except as provided in paragraph (b).

(b)    In waters that are designated as infested waters, except those designated because they contain prohibited invasive species of fish or certifiable diseases of fish, as defined under this section, taking wild animals may be permitted for:

(1) commercial taking of wild animals for bait and aquatic farm purposes according  to a permit issued by the tribe, subject to rules adopted by the tribe; and  

(2) bait purposes for noncommercial personal use in waters that contain Eurasian water milfoil, when the infested waters are designated solely because they contain Eurasian water milfoil and if the equipment for taking is limited to cylindrical minnow traps not exceeding 16 inches in diameter and 32 inches in length.

(c)    Equipment authorized for minnow harvest in designated infested water by permit issued under paragraph (b) may not be transported to, or used in, any waters other than waters specified in the permit.

Subd. 8. Commercial fishing, leeching, turtle, frog, and crayfish harvesting restrictions in infested and noninfested waters.

(a)    All nets, traps, buoys, anchors, stakes, and lines used for commercial fishing or turtle, frog, or crayfish harvesting in an infested water that is designated because it contains invasive fish, invertebrates, or certifiable diseases, may not be used in any other waters. If a commercial licensee operates in an infested water designated because it contains invasive fish, invertebrates, or certifiable diseases, all nets, traps, buoys, anchors, stakes, and lines used for commercial fishing or turtle, frog, or crayfish harvesting in waters designated as infested with invasive fish, invertebrates, or certifiable diseases, must be tagged with tags provided by the Director of Natural Resources, as specified in the commercial licensee's license or permit,

(b)    All nets, traps, buoys, anchors, stakes, and lines used for commercial fishing or turtle, frog, or crayfish harvesting in an infested water that is designated solely because it contains Eurasian water milfoil must be dried for a minimum of ten days or frozen for a minimum of two days before they are used in any other waters, except as provided in this paragraph. Commercial licensees must notify the Director of Natural Resources or a conservation officer before removing nets or equipment from an infested water designated solely because it contains Eurasian water milfoil and before resetting those nets or equipment in any other waters. Upon notification, the Director of Natural Resources may authorize a commercial licensee to move nets or equipment to another body of water without freezing or drying, if that water is designated as infested solely because it contains Eurasian water milfoil.

(c)    A commercial licensee must remove all aquatic macrophytes from nets and other equipment when the nets and equipment are removed from waters of the reservation.

(d)    The tribe shall provide a commercial licensee with a current listing of designated infested waters at the time that a license or permit is issued.

AQUATIC MACROPHYTES.

An aquatic macrophyte is an aquatic plant that grows in or near water and is either emergent, submergent, or floating. In lakes macrophytes provide cover for fish and substrate for aquatic invertebrates, produce oxygen, and act as food for some fish and wildlife.

Subd 1. Transportation prohibited. A person may not transport aquatic macrophytes except as provided in this section.

Subd. 2. Exceptions. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, a person may transport aquatic macrophytes:

(1)    that are duckweeds in the family Lemnaceae;

(2)    for disposal as part of a harvest or control activity conducted under an aquatic plant management permit, or as specified by the tribe;

(3)    for purposes of constructing shooting or observation blinds in amounts sufficient for that purpose, provided that the aquatic macrophytes are emergent and cut above the waterline;

(4)    when legally purchased or traded by or from commercial or hobbyist sources for aquarium, wetland or lakeshore restoration, or ornamental purposes;

(5)    when harvested for personal or commercial use if in a motor vehicle;

(6)    to the department, or another destination as the Director of Natural Resources may direct, in a sealed container for purposes of identifying a species or reporting the presence of a species;

(7)    when transporting commercial aquatic plant harvesting or control equipment to a suitable location for purposes of cleaning any remaining aquatic macrophytes;

(8)    that are wild rice harvested;

(9)    in the form of fragments of emergent aquatic macrophytes incidentally transported in or on watercraft or decoys used for waterfowl hunting during the waterfowl season.; or

(10)   when removing water-related equipment from waters of the Reservation for purposes of cleaning off aquatic macrophytes before leaving a water access site.

Subd 3. Launching prohibited. A person may not place or attempt to place into waters of the reservation a watercraft, a trailer, or aquatic plant harvesting or control equipment that has aquatic macrophytes, zebra mussels, or prohibited invasive species attached except as provided in this section.

Subd. 4. Removal and confinement.

(a)    A conservation officer or other licensed peace officer may order:

(1)    the removal of aquatic macrophytes or prohibited invasive species from water-related equipment before it is placed into waters of the Reservation;

(2)    confinement of the water-related equipment at a mooring, dock, or other location until the water-related equipment is removed from the water;

(3)    removal of water-related equipment from waters of the Reservation to remove prohibited invasive species if the water has not been designated by the Reservation as being infested with that species.; and

(4)    a prohibition on placing water-related equipment into waters of the Reservation when the water-related equipment has aquatic macrophytes or prohibited invasive species attached.

(b)    An inspector who is not a licensed peace officer may issue orders under paragraph (a), clauses (1), (3), and (4).

Subd. 5. Persons transporting water-related equipment.

(a)    When leaving waters of the reservation a person must drain water-related equipment holding water and live wells and bilges by removing the drain plug before transporting the water-related equipment off the water access site or riparian property.

(b)    Drain plugs, bailers, valves, or other devices used to control the draining of water from ballast tanks, bilges, and live wells must be removed or opened while transporting water-related equipment.

(c)    Emergency response vehicles and equipment may be transported on a public road with the drain plug or other similar device replaced only after all water has been drained from the equipment upon leaving the water body.

(d)    A person must not dispose of bait in waters of the Reservation.

INSPECTION OF WATERCRAFT AND WATER-RELATED EQUIPMENT.

Subd 1. Launching prohibited. A person may not place or attempt to place into waters of the Reservation a watercraft, a trailer, or aquatic plant harvesting or control equipment that has aquatic macrophytes, zebra mussels, or prohibited invasive species attached except as provided in this section.

Subd. 2. Removal and confinement.

(a)    A conservation officer or other licensed peace officer may order:

(1)    the removal of aquatic macrophytes or prohibited invasive species from water-related equipment before it is placed into waters of the Reservation;

(2)    confinement of the water-related equipment at a mooring, dock, or other location until the water-related equipment is removed from the water;

(3)    removal of water-related equipment from waters of the Reservation to remove prohibited invasive species if the water has not been designated by the Reservation as being infested with that species.; and

(4)    a prohibition on placing water-related equipment into waters of the Reservation when the water-related equipment has aquatic macrophytes or prohibited invasive species attached.

(b)    An inspector who is not a licensed peace officer may issue orders under paragraph (a), clauses (1), (3), and (4).

Subd. 3. Persons transporting water-related equipment.

(a)    When leaving waters of the Reservation a person must drain water-related equipment holding water and live wells and bilges by removing the drain plug before transporting the water-related equipment off the water access site or riparian property.

(b)    Drain plugs, bailers, valves, or other devices used to control the draining of water from ballast tanks, bilges, and live wells must be removed or opened while transporting water-related equipment.

(c)    Emergency response vehicles and equipment may be transported on a public road with the drain plug or other similar device replaced only after all water has been drained from the equipment upon leaving the water body.

(d)    A person must not dispose of bait in waters of the Reservation.

Subd 4. Compliance inspections. Compliance with aquatic invasive species inspection requirements is an express condition of operating or transporting water-related equipment. An inspector may prohibit an individual who refuses to allow an inspection of the individual's water-related equipment or who refuses to remove and dispose of aquatic invasive species, aquatic macrophytes, and water from placing or operating water-related equipment in waters of the Reservation.

Subd. 5. Inspector authority.

(a)    The tribe shall train and authorize individuals to inspect water-related equipment for aquatic macrophytes, aquatic invasive species, and water. Inspectors may visually and tactilely inspect watercraft and water-related equipment to determine whether aquatic invasive species, aquatic macrophytes, or water is present. If a person transporting watercraft or water-related equipment refuses to take required corrective actions or fails to comply with an order of an inspector who is not a licensed peace officer shall refer the violation to a conservation officer or other licensed peace officer.

(b)    In addition to paragraph (a), a conservation officer or other licensed peace officer may inspect any watercraft or water-related equipment that is stopped at a water access site or stopped at any other location in the Reservation if the officer determines there is reason to believe that aquatic invasive species, aquatic macrophytes, or water is present on the watercraft or water-related equipment.

(c)    Conservation officers or other licensed peace officers may utilize check stations in locations, or in proximity to locations, where watercraft or other water-related equipment is placed into or removed from waters of the Reservation. Any check stations shall be operated in a manner that minimizes delays to vehicles, equipment, and their occupants.

Subd. 6. Harvest of bait from infested waters.

(a)    The tribe may issue a permit to allow the harvest of bait from waters that are designated as infested waters, except those designated because they contain prohibited invasive species of fish. The permit shall include conditions necessary to avoid spreading aquatic invasive species.

(b)    Before receiving a permit, or working for a permittee, a person annually must satisfactorily complete aquatic invasive species-related training provided by the tribe.

Subd. 7. Criminal penalties.

(a)    A Non-Indian person who violates this provision or rule, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b)    A Non-Indian person who possesses, transports, or introduces a prohibited invasive species in violation of this Code is guilty of a misdemeanor. A Non-Indian person who imports, purchases, sells, or propagates a prohibited invasive species in violation is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. 

(c)    A Non-Indian person who refuses to obey an order of a peace officer or conservation officer to remove prohibited invasive species or aquatic macrophytes from any water-related equipment is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

(d)    An Indian person who violates paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of this subdivision is guilty of a tribal misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $5,000.00 and/or jail sentence up to one year.

Subd. 8. Warnings; civil citations. After appropriate training, conservation officers, other licensed peace officers, and other department personnel designated by the tribe may issue warnings or citations to a person who:

(1)    unlawfully transports prohibited invasive species or aquatic macrophytes;

(2)    unlawfully places or attempts to place into waters of the Reservation, water-related equipment that has aquatic macrophytes or prohibited invasive species attached;

(3)    intentionally damages, moves, removes, or sinks a buoy marking, as prescribed by rule, Eurasian water milfoil;

(4)    fails to remove plugs, open valves, and drain water from water-related equipment before leaving waters of the Reservation or when transporting water-related equipment; or

(5)    transports infested water, in violation of rule, off riparian property.

Subd. 9. Civil penalties.

(a) A civil citation issued under this section must impose the following penalty amounts:

(1)    for transporting aquatic macrophytes in violation of this Code, $100;

(2)    for placing or attempting to place into waters of the Reservation water-related equipment that has aquatic macrophytes attached, $200;

(3)    for unlawfully possessing or transporting a prohibited invasive species other than an aquatic macrophyte, $500;

(4)    for placing or attempting to place into waters of the Reservation, water-related equipment that has prohibited invasive species attached when the waters are not designated by the tribe as being infested with that invasive species, $500

(5)    for intentionally damaging, moving, removing, or sinking a buoy marking, as prescribed by rule, Eurasian water milfoil, $100;

(6)    for failing to remove plugs, open valves, and drain water from water-related equipment, other portable bait containers, before leaving waters of the reservation, or when transporting water-related equipment, $100; and

(7)    for transporting infested water off riparian property without a permit as required by this Code, $200.

(b) A civil citation that is issued to a person who has one or more prior convictions or final orders for violations of this Code is subject to twice the penalty amounts listed in paragraph (a).

Subd. 10. Watercraft license suspension. A civil citation may be issued to suspend, for up to a year, the watercraft license of an owner or person in control of a watercraft or trailer who refuses to submit to an inspection under section or who refuses to comply with a removal order.