Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center launches campaign against prickly water fleas

This invasive species disrupts the natural food chain by devouring the micronutrients that support and grow native fish species, but in themselves provide no nutritional value. Once established in a lake, there is no treatment, chemical or otherwise, that can eradicate them, according to a statement.

As a result, MAISRC has launched a campaign called Stop Spiny, which aims to educate Minnesotans about thorny water fleas, their spread and how to stop them.

Bruce Anspach, a Beltrami County Aquatic Invasive Species Lakes Technician, is supporting the campaign and seeking to educate Beltrami County residents about it.

“We are definitely behind the campaign and are trying to educate fishermen and boaters,” Anspach said in the statement. “All of our boat inspectors have handouts and other handouts for people using public ramps – in addition, we are running a short informative video from MAISRC as an advertisement on local cable channels to try and reach even more people.

Thorny water fleas tend to stick to objects that move through the water, such as fishing lines, downrigger cables, and the net bag of landing nets. A fisherman’s first encounter with the invading zooplankton often comes in the form of a scintillating cluster at the end of the rod after coiling the line onto the spool, according to the release.

“Fishermen use the type of gear that can easily pick up and transport thorny water fleas,” Anspach said. “So in addition to raising awareness, we encourage fishermen to actively stem the spread by wiping down their gear after a day on the lake. “

The campaign urges fishermen to wipe down their fishing line with a rag or towel as it passes over the reel; then wipe down the reel itself before storing a rod in the locker at the end of the day. At the ramp, after emptying the bilge, livewells, bait pit or bait bucket, wipe down the wells or bucket to eliminate any hitchhikers.

Anspach recommends that anglers check the landing net, as well as any places inside the boat that the landing net or a fish may have touched.

Boaters and anglers, especially those who are likely to set out on another body of water within four days, are encouraged to use one of the many courtesy decontamination stations available to them in the area. ‘State. The system uses a hot (140 degree) low pressure wash to clean the hull and lower unit of the outboard motor, and rinse out livewells, baits and the plumbing system free of charge.

The Beltrami County Permanent Station is located at 2400 Middle School Drive in Bemidji. Boaters should call the station at 218-760-8519 when approaching the access ramp to let technicians know they are on their way.

Several departments operate permanent decontamination stations and the MDNR has dozens of mobile units which are installed at various locations throughout the navigation season. All can be viewed online, with dates, locations and hours of operation.

Visit dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/watercraft_inspect/courtesydecon and click on View Courtesy Decontamination Map to find the one closest to you.

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