MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a patriotic week in Minnesota, and we decided to celebrate America’s birthday in our second day at Breezy Point for Goin’ To The Lake!

Ali Lucia and Natalie Nyhus found a new way to fight aquatic invasive species.

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Invasive species like zebra mussels aren’t just a problem in the cities; they’re up in the Brainerd Lakes area as well.

In fact, at least 40 bodies of water, including the White Fish Chain and Gull Lake, have been infected.

It’s a problem Crosslake is tackling head on, which is exactly why they have something new to help stop the spread.

Bob McKeehen is a level two inspector in Crow Wing County. It’s his job to inspect and clean boats at the new decontamination station in Crosslake.

“I’m looking for any spots that might be shady and a place for zebra mussels to attach to,” he said.

Crow Wing County’s Aquatic Invasive Species Coodinator Jacob Hradsky gave some advice on when you should put your boat into a decontamination station.

“If you’ve been on a body of water for more than 24 hours, after that point its possible for species like zebra mussels to begin attaching to the boat,” he said.

You should also decontaminate if you’re planning to go to another lake in the next five days. It takes at least five days out of the water to kill a zebra mussel.

One of the biggest problem areas on a boat is the live well.

“In the live well, there can be a lot of stagnant water than can’t get quite dry,” McKeehen said.

McKeehen will use a pressure washer with water that’s 120 degrees for two minutes. That’s what it takes to kill any zebra mussels that may be left behind.

Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Thiede said the invasive species problem is something we all have to work on.

“We have a lot of people who come to Crow Wing County to recreate,” he said. “We don’t want to discourage that. This is one way of helping to solve that problem.”

The station is open every day from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. and is free for anyone to use.

Goin’ To The Lake: Decontamination Station

Like most of the cities here in the Brainerd Lakes Area, the population in Pequot Lakes grows quite a bit in the summer, especially on weekends like this one.

You know you’re in Pequot when you see the the big bobber water tower. But that’s not the only thing that makes this city stand out: You’ll find all kinds of fun shops and restaurants, and the Paul Bunyon bike trail goes right through town. Quite a few bicyclists could also be seen enjoying the day.

But if biking’s not your thing, maybe miniature golf is. Natalie and Ali got a little competitive to find out who’s the best mini golfer.

Goin’ To The Lake: Mini Golf

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FlyBoard rentals are available at Ernie’s on Gull Lake.

Natalie and Ali got to meet one of the top flyers in the world. He has all kinds of tricks and spins, and he even does a pretty cool dolphin dive.

It costs $100 for 20 minutes.

Goin’ To The Lake: FlyBoard Rentals

Just down the street from the main park in Pequot Lakes is an old fire tower that you can climb.

It’s a good workout and a great view.

The fire tower was fun, but Ali and Natalie found something you have to have if you’re going to celebrate the 4th of July — fireworks!

Goin’ To The Lake: Fire Tower And Fireworks

Goin’ To The Lake: Pequot Lakes Recap

GALLERY: WCCO’s Goin’ To The Lake — Breezy Point

Here are links for the places Natalie and Ali visited on their trip to Breezy Point: 

It’s finally time to get out on the water, on Peqout Lakes. This weekend is home to the very popular event, Stars and Stripes Days!

First stop was on the green, at Wildwedge Mini Golf and Maze.

And, of course, our favorite part was playing with “water jet packs” from Flyboard MN. You’ve got to try it!

We also got a chance to soak in some of the stunning views of Breezy Point from the top of the Pequot Lakes Fire Tower.

Goin’ To The Lake is also a great chance to learn something important: we heard from the Aquatic Invasive Species specialists at Crosslake about the problems they’re facing.

Here are highlights from other Goin’ To The Lake trips:

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Watch the past ‘Goin’ To The Lake’ segments.
Watch the past ‘Goin’ To The (Frozen) Lake’ segments.