Aquatic Invasive Species

Harmful to human health, the environment and the economy!

Bruce Anspach, Aquatic Invasive Species Lakes Technician
Beltrami County Environmental Services
218-333-8281 email

Atop Aquatic Hitchhikers

Minnesota has defined Invasive Species as a nonnative species that: causes or may cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health; or threatens or may threaten natural resources or the use of natural resources in the state.  These organisms are able to survive and reproduce in their new environment.  They become invasive because they have been transported to the new environment without the predators, diseases, or parasites that keep them from out-competing the other organisms in their native environment.   They are usually organisms that pioneer disturbed places, like boat accesses, new construction sites, and freshly removed vegetation areas.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are a serious threat to Minnesota waters and are one of the greatest conservation challenges of our time.  The growth potential of AIS in a new ecosystem without natural predation or disease can be explosive.  These unchecked organisms cause changes in waterbodies that are quick, permanent, and harmful to environmental, human, and economic health.

Beltrami County is striving to prevent the spread of AIS in the county, and with your help we will be successful.

Beltrami County currently has three known Aquatic Invasive Species: Faucet Snails, Zebra Mussels and Starry Stonewort.

All moored equipment (docks, lifts, and rafts) must:
Dry for 21 days before launching into new waterbodies.

Every time you leave a body of water:
Clean - aquatic plants, mud, and animals from watercraft, trailers, and equipment.
Drain - all water from watercraft and equipment, including bait containers, by removing drain plugs.  Keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft and verify water is drained.  Lower the motor so you can drain water out of the lower unit.  To keep bait, refill the bait container with bottled or tap water that was not brought out onto the lake.
Dispose - of unwanted bait in the trash.  Never release into the wild.
Dry - for five hot/dry days.  If unable, spray and flush all water-containing compartments as well as the trailer with very hot water.

Exposure to hot water 120° F (residential water heaters are set at or close to this temperature) for at least 2 minutes or 140° F for at least 10 seconds will kill adult zebra mussels.

Volunteer as AIS Ambassadors, zebra mussel and lake monitors, and educate your neighbors and others.

Schedule a talk at your lake association meeting with the Beltrami Aquatic Invasive Species Lake Technician 218-335-8281.

Take the DNR FREE on line AIS training

DNR tips to help prevent the spread of AIS

Learn to Identify and report new AIS sightings

Beltrami County offers free watercraft decontamination May through September, 7 days a week, by appointment.  Call 218-760-8519 to set up a time.  The cleaning location is 2400 Middle School Drive, Bemidji, MN.


Free decontamination locations throughout the State of Minnesota