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MN Allocates $10 Million to Fight Aquatic Invasive Species - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

MN Allocates $10 Million to Fight Aquatic Invasive Species

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More and more areas in Minnesota lakes country are trying to figure out how to stop the spread of zebra mussels and they're hoping $10-million dollars will do the trick. Governor Mark Dayton has allocated some serious funding for a statewide effort in slowing and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. As the DNR figures out a plan to use that money Valley News team's Eric Crest shows us how area fishermen are doing their part.

It just takes one zebra mussel to potentially devastate a lake.

"I know it can destroy a lake pretty quick," says Michael Smith of Fargo.

"They can wreck all fish populations whether it's a bull head or a walleye. Invasive species can do a lot of damage," adds Aaron Kolberer of Detroit Lakes.

But thankfully the state of Minnesota and its residents are getting more and more proactive as many have seen first hand what can happen.

"I know it's pretty easy to prevent for the most part. Dry your boat, drain it, make sure there's no weeds on your trailer," says Kolberer.

"It don't take much time. You can look over your trailer and boat, clean any weeds, anything you see just clean it off," says Smith.

It's as simple as clean, drain and dry. But many have a hard time thinking in terms of something you can't even see. Aquatic invasive species can be microscopic and if you're bringing water with you from one lake to the next, you might be be helping them spread to other lakes.

"A lot of boats, if they're not brand new, even some new boats... They can have a leak in them. They'll hold water. My boat is a prime example of that. I drain my live well and half the water goes into the bilge. So you have to pull the drain plug," says Kolberer.

This summer you can expect to see more volunteers policing boat landings throughout Becker county, making sure everyone is doing their part and even calling authorities if need be.

"There's a lot of lakes to watch. A lot of stuff to do. It's hard to have eyes everywhere," says Kolberer.

Becker county will get a lot of that $10 million dollars in state money. The county will receive $300-thousand dollars every year for the next 10 years to help in the fight. As of right now it hasn't been determined exactly how that money will be spent. Education, prevention and enforcement will likely all have to be weighed.
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