Archived Story

DNR to do random boat checks

Published 10:55am Friday, July 13, 2012

While Minnesota does not allow random traffic stops for DWIs, the Minn. Department of Natural Resources recently received the authority to randomly stop vehicles hauling boats and trailers to check for compliance with aquatic invasive species regulations.

In addition to the new policy regarding random traffic stops, July 1 marked the date that all AIS related citations were doubled. Violations will now result in fines ranging from $100 to $500.

“People who tow boats should know that they are subject to checks,” said Otter Tail County attorney David Hauser.

If people transport boats and trailers properly, they don’t have to worry about getting in trouble, he said.

Some common errors boaters make are forgetting to pull the plug after leaving an access, failing to drain live wells and transporting full bait buckets, two DNR intern AIS inspectors said.

“I think random checks are a valuable law enforcement tool,” Hauser said. “We use them with tobacco sales and alcohol sales. Most states allow some random checks in danger areas for DWIs, but Minnesota does not. It’s not the solo answer, but it’s part of a package of things (to help slow the spread of AIS).”

Hauser said he doesn’t know if any citations have been given out yet or where the DNR plans to conduct these random checks except that they will likely be in high boat towing traffic areas.

  • P. Carlson

    Violators should lose their boats and trailers on first offense. It only takes once to ruin a lake.

  • stymie

    As a lakeshore property owner in OT county, I fear the DNR/lakeshore management/state and local police far more than invasive species. This is a perfect excuse to hire more staff, prosecute more citizens, and levy new and larger taxes. Just like “terrorism” is used by the clowns at TSA to justify doing the same. And just like homeland security, it will fail in the end. Watch how many laws, taxes, regulations, and employees will be added in the coming years, one at a time, in the name of “protection.”

    “The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates.”
    Tacitus- Roman senator and historian

  • stymie

    “Because of its popularity as a game and food fish, the walleye was introduced to many (MN) lakes, where it has become established.” MN DNR website.

    An aquatic species becomes “approved” or “invasive” when the government decides, based on factors other than biology alone, i.e. financial. For example, when the Asian carp becomes a source of protein for enough people, it will become “approved”. People aren’t trying to protect the lakes, they’re concerned with protecting government tax base or personal financial investments.

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