The Minnesota fishing opener is this weekend and with that comes a fresh round of reminders to follow the proper protocol to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.  This year year, the Minnesota DNR is bringing in two newly trained experts to help in the battle.

The DNR recently introduced two new K9 dogs, trained to quickly locate zebra mussels on boats and trailers.  The K9s help by quickly sniffing out any zebra mussels attached to boats or equipment.

Newly certified K9s Shelby and Storm join veterans Brady and Reggie on the force for 2017.

The DNR stresses that trained watercraft inspectors, more decontamination units, expanded training efforts and greater public engagement all help prevent the spread of zebra mussels, starry stonewort and other aquatic invasive species.

That being said, all boaters need to follow these steps:

  • Spray boat and trailer with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse boat and trailer with very hot water (120 degrees for two minutes; or 140 degrees for 10 seconds).
  • Dry boat and equipment for at least five days.

Currently, less than 2 percent of Minnesota lakes are listed as infested with zebra mussels and if everyone does their part that number will not increase.

Get more details on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species below.