Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
In 2014, the State of Minnesota began providing funds to each County with public water accesses to help prevent the spread of AIS on a local level.
The main goal of the AIS Task Force s to review requests for funding in accordance with the AIS Plan (click the image to the lower right) and provide a recommendation to the County Board. Other tasks will be to inform the public of the funding available, look for ways to educate the public, manage/control the spread of AIS and to support individual programs. The intent of the funds is "to prevent the introduction or limit the spread of aquatic invasive species at all access sites within the county."
The AIS Task Force shall consist of one representative from each of the following areas:
- Benton County Commissioner - Ed Popp
- Mayhew Lake - Tim Rajkowski
- Little Rock Lake Association Board Member - Frank Hard
- Little Rock Lake Association Member - Ken Nodo
- Mississippi River - Dave Seviola
Advisory members to the AIS Task Force will include:
- Department of Development Staff
- Benton County Park Commission Member - Mary Kivi
- Benton County Water Planner - Amanda Guertin
Help Prevent the Spread
CLEAN plants, mud, zebra mussels and other animals/fish from boats, watercrafts, trailers, and recreation equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland. Rinse equipment with high-pressure, hot water.
DRAIN equipment including boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor, and swimming equipment. Also drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property. Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.
DRY everything that came in contact with water for at least five days to be sure you have destroyed eggs or young zebra mussels. Store your boat on land if possible.
DISPOSE of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms in the trash. It is illegal to release live bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your live bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.
AIS Grant Opportunity!
Benton County is accepting AIS Grant Applications until April 30th, 2020*.
Apply for grant funding that relates to prevention, treatment, containment, enforcement, restoration or education of AIS.
*Additional deadlines for 2020 include June 30th and September 30th, 2020
**Available in a fillable for PDF from the Department of Development.
Know the laws
You may not transport watercraft without removing the drain plug.
You may not arrive at lake access with drain plug in place.
You may not transport aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or other prohibited species on any roadway.
You may not launch a watercraft with prohibited species attached.
You may not transport water from Minnesota lakes or rivers.
You may not release live bait into the water.
Learn more about Minnesota's invasive species laws.
MN Department of Natural Resources AIS Protect Your Waters