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Minn. Cracking Down On Spread Of Invasive Species

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(credit: Minnesota DNR)

(credit: Minnesota DNR)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota will be cracking down this fishing season on boaters who spread unwanted hitchhikers such as zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny water fleas.

As the season opens Saturday, the fight to prevent the advance of aquatic invasive species will include roadside inspections and decontamination of infested boats. Checks last summer indicated that nearly one in five boaters failed to comply with the rules. Violators are more likely to be ticketed than ever before, and fines double starting July 1.

Maj. Phil Meier, enforcement manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, says the agency has been educating people for several years and decided the time has come to take it one step further. He’s stressing the need for boaters to take personal responsibility.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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