The Gunflint Trail Blog

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When You Go Boating

April 25th, 2012 | News | 0 Comments

Boating season is upon us on the Gunflint Trail, although boat traffic on Gunflint Trail lakes won’t pick up in earnest until the season fishing opener on Saturday, May 12. (Despite some rumblings in the Minnesota legislature earlier this spring about possibly bumping up the opener by a week, the fishing opener will remain on May 12 this year.) Before you take that first spin in the boat this spring, here are a few things to remember:

Beware of aquatic invasive species
Minnesota continues to work to educate the public about how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels and spiny water fleas.

The MN DNR asks boaters to remember to stop aquatic hitchhikers by inspecting their boat whenever they take the boat out of the water and removing any vegetation or invasive species clinging to the boat,;draining the water from the boat before leaving the water access; and throwing unused bait in the trash. Before a boater moves their boat to another lake, the DNR asks boaters to either rinse their boat and equipment with at least 120 degree water, pressure wash the boat, or let the boat dry for at least five days.

Boaters are now required to display an aquatic invasive species decal on their watercraft.  A penalty for not having the decal will begin to be enforced on August 1, 2014. The decals can be picked up for free at DNR offices or wherever you register your watercraft.

Register your watercraft
The state of Minnesota requires all watercraft to be registered. If you are not a Minnesota resident, you may register your watercraft in your home state. Minnesota honors all state registrations.

Life jacket use
And remember, while the ice may have gone off the lakes a month ago, we’ve been experiencing normal spring temperatures and water temperatures remain very chilly. While it’s always important to have a personal floatation device nearby whenever you’re out on the water — and children under the age of 10 must always wear a life jacket — it’s an especially good idea to actually wear your life jacket during these cool spring days.

Happy boating!

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