Adopt-A-Dock is a new volunteer lake monitoring program, developed in response to growing concern about the potential spread of invasive mussels. Invasive mussels cost the United States billions of dollars each year, harm native ecosystems, and decrease recreational value. The Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District includes 15 lakes, with many public and private accesses.
Monitoring all of these locations to detect the presence of invasive mussels is a big task, and through the Adopt-A-Dock program community members can help expand the monitoring capacity of the district. Volunteers receive a kit that includes monitoring plates, a field notebook, and instructions. They hang the plates from the end of their dock, and check them twice a month for the presence of mussels. This information is communicated to the district, and if an invasive mussel is found, it is reported to the Department of Natural Resources.
The district is looking for up to two volunteers for each lake. Any lakeshore owners who are interested in participating are encouraged to contact Michelle at the district: email@example.com, 952-607-6481.
Even if you do not live on a lake, you can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Mussels and other invasive species can be spread on boats, trailers, and fishing equipment.
Anytime you move your boat between water bodies, inspect it and your trailer, remove any plants or animals you find, and pull the boat plug to drain any water, which might also contain invasive species. “Boats are not the only equipment that can spread invasive species,” says district Water Quality and Outreach Coordinator, Michelle Jordan, “docks, boatlifts, and water toys can also spread AIS if they are moved between lakes.”
In fact, it is Minnesota State law that docks and boatlifts must be dried for 21 days before being placed in another waterbody. For a full list of Minnesota laws on AIS, visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website. Together, we can help prevent the spread of invasive species.