Aquatic Invasive Species in Cass County
“Since 2014, the Cass County AIS Task Force has been pulling together as a team to aggressively plan and implement strategies to prevent all forms of aquatic invasive species from entering our public waters by educating, inspecting watercraft, and decontaminating boats and trailers leaving infested waters,” reports Levy Bergstrom, Cass County ESD/Soil and Water Conservation District. “Our goal is to prevent infestations from occurring and manage those waters that are infested and we need your help.”
Doug Jensen from Sea Grant Minnesota doing what he does best! Flashing big smiles and sharing information at the 2018 Enhanced Training Workshop.
Catch this AIS Video!
Cass County and Dr. Pat Welle Ph.D. Emeritus Professor BSU teamed up to conduct a study on ways resort owners and fishing guides in Cass County can prevent the spread of AIS. Dr. Welle focused on the Boy River chain of lakes, which had been identified as high risk for infestation of zebra mussels and faucet snails. Click on the link below to read the entire report.
"Enhancing the Role of Resorts and Fishing Guides in Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species"
Aquatic Invasive Species FAQ's: Boating, fishing, bait, and laws.
A new perspective! Read some interviews with Cass County watercraft inspectors:
How long have you been a watercraft inspector?
This is my 3rd year.
Why did you want to be a watercraft inspector?
I want to have lakes stay like they are. 2. It is a good part time job.
What is the best part of this job?
Talking to all the people. 99% of them are true and blue.
How many boats do you inspect a day?
It’s slower during the week, 12-14. Add about 25% + to that for weekends.
How long does an inspection take?
2-2.5 minutes, depending on the boat. If they have an electric trolling motor you need to check where they attach for weeds, if they have a kicker motor, an electric anchor, you need to check those.
What is the most common violation you come across?
The bait. I keep a water jug in my truck, here it says “bait legal” on it. This makes the boaters happy because they don’t have to throw their bait out. At tournaments like the one last week on Leech Lake, those guys will have 4-6 different types of bait, and they can spend $40-60 on it, so they don’t want to have to throw it away. My grandson said I should make and sell these. I told him I don’t think I can because that would be a conflict of interest or something.
Have you ever had someone refuse an inspection?
No, most of them don’t say anything. I can tell when a few of them have been unhappy that I’m looking at their boat, but they stay quiet.
Are most boaters cooperative and in favor of inspections to prevent the spread of AIS?
There is an occasional jerk but most are okay with it. They don’t want AIS in the lake either.
What is one law people don’t seem to know about?
The bait law.
Have you personally seen the effects of AIS on a lake?
No I haven’t.
What is one thing you wish people know about AIS and preventing its spread?
I would like there to be more educating via the press, web, etc. so that people are more aware in general.
Now that you know a little more about a few of the Cass County Watercraft Inspectors, be sure to say Hi to Jim if you see them when you're at a public water access!