This article in the Crookston Times sadly illustrates how public ignorance and negligence spread invasive species that threaten our waterways and fisheries:
Bemidji, Minn. — A watercraft inspector discovered zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil on a boat trailer exiting Lake Bemidji this month, though they didn't originate here.
The zebra mussels and watermilfoil appeared to be dried and dead, said Henry Drewes, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources regional fisheries manager. He said if that's the case, DNR officials wouldn't expect the incident to result in an infestation, something that Beltrami County has thus far been able to avoid.
"What it tells you, though, is that boats coming from infested waters, despite all the publicity, people are still not being vigilant enough about cleaning their watercraft before they move them," Drewes said.
The boat discovered Aug. 2 had recently been in the Twin Cities in Lake Minnetonka, one of the most infested waters in Minnesota. The boaters were from North Dakota.
"I think it also illustrates the mobility of people and their equipment," Drewes added.
The boaters cleaned the boat and were issued a $500 fine.