More Minnesota businesses now required to take aquatic invasive species training

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is offering additional aquatic invasive species (AIS) training to owners of lake service provider businesses this fall so they can legally work in the state’s waters. 

Businesses that rent, lease or decontaminate boats or other water-related equipment are now required to attend AIS training and acquire a permit under a state law change that took effect in July.

“Before this change, the law applied only to businesses such as marinas, dock haulers, boat clubs and others who install or remove equipment from state waters,” said April Rust, DNR AIS training coordinator.

Several AIS training sessions for lake service providers are scheduled around the state: Rochester, Oct. 15; Bemidji; Oct. 16; Duluth, Oct. 27; Blaine, Nov. 6.

After completing the required three-hour training, lake service providers must pass an exam, apply for a permit online, and pay a $50 application fee before a permit is issued. The training sessions provide details about AIS and information needed to pass the test. They also cover how to integrate AIS prevention strategies into business practices. The permit is valid for 3 years. Lake service providers must have the permits while providing services.

Employees of lake service provider businesses also need to complete a short training course offered free online – unless they work for a business with boats, equipment or structures that remain on the property in the same body of water.

Nearly 1,000 lake service businesses in Minnesota have attended AIS training since January 2012 and are now included on the DNR’s list of permitted service providers.

To register for training, find out if a business needs a permit, or for more information, visit the DNR website.