Fall hunting season is here and the Minnesota DNR reminds trappers and waterfowl hunters to take precautions to avoid spreading aquatic invasive species.

According to the DNR, without the proper precautions, invasive species such as purple loosestrife, zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and faucet snails can be transported in boats, decoys or blind material.

This can lead to damaging habitat for waterfowl, fish and other wildlife, and can even cause waterfowl die-offs. For example, faucet snails can carry parasites that can kill thousands of ducks.

The DNR offers a few tips to help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species:

  • Use elliptical or bulb-shaped or strap decoy anchors.
  • Drain water and remove all plants and animals from boats and equipment.
  • Remove all plants and animals from anchor lines and blind materials.
  • Check compartments or storage in boats or kayaks that aren’t used in rest of the year.
  • Waterfowl hunters should also remember that they must cut cattails or other plants above the water line when using them as camouflage for boats or blinds, if they want to move them from lake to lake.

Trappers should also remember to clean their equipment prior to moving it to another body of water.