Aquatic Invasive Species

Stop AIS Clean Dry Drain

Aquatic Invasive Species are non-native plants or animals that live in or near water and thrive in their new environment, often out-competing native species. Invasive species cause harm to the environment, economy, and human health.

Known AIS and those with the potential to occur in Nicollet County include:

Learn more about what AIS look like in the Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species.

Nicollet County Management Plan:

In 2015, Nicollet County adopted the Nicollet County Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan (PDF). The purpose of the Plan is to facilitate coordination of local and state resources and to prioritize and guide implementation of AIS prevention, monitoring, inspection, and education actions in Nicollet County. The Plan attempts to coordinate and set timelines for actions to preserve and protect the environment, economy, and human health of the County.

How can you help stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species?

The procedure required by State law for boaters is to clean weeds and debris from their boats, remove drain plugs and keep them out while traveling, and dispose of unused bait in the trash. These simple steps help prevent aquatic invasive species from being carried to other lakes.

The Department of Natural Resources recommends that boaters follow the precautions listed below:

Before leaving the boat launch:

  • Inspect your boat, trailer, and equipment and remove any plants and animals.
  • Drain all water from the motor, live-well, bilge, and transom well. Some plant and animal species may not be visible to the naked eye.
  • Empty your bait bucket on land. It is illegal to release live bait into a waterway or transfer aquatic animals between waterways.

Check these areas especially:

Boat on Trailer

After leaving the boat launch:

  • Clean your boat, tackle, trailer, and other equipment to kill any exotic species not visible at the boat launch. This can be done with either a high-pressure sprayer or water that is at least 120º; or
  • Dry your equipment for at least five days to kill the AIS that can survive for long periods of time out of water
  • Report any new infestations to Nicollet County Property Services

For more information on how to stop aquatic hitchhikers and protect our waters, please visit the Department of Natural Resources website.