The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering aquatic invasive species training to owners of lake service provider businesses, so they can legally work in lakes and rivers throughout the state.
Lake service provider businesses include resorts, outfitters and campgrounds that rent or lease boats and other water-related equipment. Business owners must attend training, apply for a permit and pay a $50 application fee every three years to comply with Minnesota law.
When the law and permit began in 2012, it applied only to some resorts and outfitters, along with businesses such as marinas, dock haulers, lawn irrigators and others who install or remove equipment from state waters for hire, said April Rust, DNR aquatic invasive species training coordinator.
The law was updated in 2013 to include any businesses that rent any type of boats or other water-related equipment.
“That means resorts and campgrounds that offer equipment to their guests like pontoons, fishing boats or kayaks and canoes as a part of their stay, need training on AIS and this permit,” she said.
Eleven AIS training sessions are planned around the state starting this month, and a new online training will be available in March. Training is offered in winter to give businesses time to attend training and get a permit before ice-out. Registration deadlines for in-person training are one week prior to each training. A listing all 2017 training sessions is available on the lake service provider webpage.
Overall, Minnesotans are doing a good job of helping to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Less than 5 percent of Minnesota lakes are on the infested waters list.
To register for training or for more information, visit the DNR website and the lake service provider webpage.