PL-SL boat inspections

The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District has begun boat inspections at the lakes’ public launches to try to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District has begun inspecting boats entering and exiting the two lakes in an attempt to control contamination by invasive species like zebra mussels.

The watershed district, which works to improve water quality around much of Scott County, brought on the company WaterGuards for the inspections at the two lakes’ three public launches, according to a news release.

The company is also taking the place of the state Department of Natural Resources’ inspections, which the watershed district said haven’t started this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Invasive species such as the mussels and curlyleaf pondweed are essentially impossible to remove from a lake once they’re established and can harm native ecosystems and water quality. The inspections aim to prevent new ones from arriving in the lakes and to stop those already present from escaping to others.

If an inspector isn’t present, boaters should also inspect their own boats before entering or leaving, according to the district.

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