MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With boating season back in Minnesota, officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are urging boaters to step up their efforts to stop the spread of invasive species.

The DNR is stepping up efforts this season to prevent the spread of invasive species, namely zebra mussels. DNR officials said up to 150 authorized inspectors will be stationed at high-use public waters that have been known to have issues with zebra mussels.

Roadside checks will be performed before boats can go in the water. Boaters caught with zebra mussels or other invasive species on their boats can expect fines.

Last year, officers spent about 81,000 hours inspecting boats and trailers for invasive species, resulting in 998 citations and more than 1,500 written warnings. Transporting aquatic plants can result in a $100 fine, transporting water can result in up to a $100 fine and carrying zebra mussels or other invasive species could result in up to a $500 fine.