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Anglers urge compliance, but doubt the rules will work as advertised

WILLMAR -- Boaters need to pay close attention to laws that carry possible fines of $50 to $135 and are aimed at stopping the spread of invasive aquatic species.

Boaters are now required to drain their boats, live wells, bait wells and bilges when they leave a lake. They must also drain minnow buckets when they leave waters infested by invasive species.

The Little Crow Anglers and West Central Bassmasters of Kandiyohi County strongly urge compliance with the rules.

Members of the local organizations also have some concerns.

They are concerned that someone will inadvertently make a mistake, and get tagged with an eye-catching fine as an example to others.

Not spotting a tiny filament of milfoil on a boat trailer could prove very costly, they warned.

The anglers also question if the law requiring boats to be drained will work as intended. At busy boat accesses, boaters are likely to pull their plugs and haul their boats out of the water as quickly as possible to make room for others.

Consequently, there are sure to be cases where they will go to another lake with some water still in their boats. If they forget to put their plugs back in, they are likely to spill that water into the second lake as they back their boat into it.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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