Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Aquatic Invasive Species Program

Invasive algae starry stonewort confirmed in Long Lake
August 24, 2023
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of starry stonewort in Long Lake, near Park Rapids in Hubbard County. An aquatic vegetation survey company hired by the Long Lake Association made the discovery of a small patch off the southern public access. Always remember to clean, drain, and dry your watercraft every time you launch and leave a public access. For more information regarding starry stonewort and other AIS, please visit the MN DNR AIS Webpage.

Sign Up for 2023 Starry Trek!
July 11, 2023
Join in on this exciting volunteer opportunity to search Hubbard County public access sites for starry stonewort and other AIS. This is a great opportunity to learn about AIS and enjoy the great outdoors. For more information check out the U of MN Starry Trek Webpage.

Watercraft Decontamination Station Update
July 1, 2023
The Hubbard County Watercraft Decontamination Station located at 812 Henrietta Ave. Park Rapids now has a new number! The Decon Station is a free service that operates on-call 7 days a week from 10 AM - 6 PM. Call ahead for an appointment at 218-616-1631.

Zebra mussels confirmed in Lake Plantagenet
June 29, 2023
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Lake Plantagenet, near Nary in Hubbard County. DNR invasive species specialists, following up on a report of zebra mussels, found adult mussels in three areas of the lake. For more information regarding zebra mussels and other AIS please visit the MN DNR AIS Webpage.

Environmental Services Department: 218-732-3890 

Program Overview
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are plants, animals, and algae that are not native to the local ecosystem, and cause ecological and economic harm.  Because AIS are not a part of our native ecosystem, when introduced they can begin to out compete and take over.  Here in northern Minnesota our lakes and rivers support our local economies and are vital to our community.  Protecting and preserving these resources is crucial to Minnesota communities. Hubbard County has been very proactive in AIS prevention over the years.  The local community is very involved and supportive of the Program.  The AIS Program is an education program committed to educating both visitors and locals about AIS best management practices.  To best achieve this task, the AIS Program engages the public through community outreach, watercraft inspections, and decontaminations. 

Community Outreach
The AIS Program’s primary focus is on educating the local community and its visitors about AIS and prevention practices.  Building strong relationships with local resorts, bait shops, radio stations, and newspapers is crucial.  We partner will local businesses to distribute educational AIS guides, and local radio stations and newspapers to distribute PSAs and other related educational messages.  AIS prevention falls back on all public water users, and it is the responsibility of the resource user to use best management practices to limit the spread of AIS.  For more information on how to limit the spread of AIS please refer to the links on the left-hand side of this page.

Watercraft Inspections
The AIS Program has a Delegation Agreement with the State of Minnesota that authorizes Hubbard County to conduct watercraft inspections at public water accesses.  Our AIS inspectors are contracted employees who are MN DNR certified and trained Level I Watercraft Inspectors.  These inspectors work with boaters to educate them on AIS prevention methods and best management practices around the public access.  In addition to education, our Level 1 Inspectors have the legal authority to deny launch of a watercraft if there is AIS attached or verified water on board that cannot be drained.  These inspections are painless and usually take less than a few minutes.

Watercraft Decontamination 
The final piece to the AIS Program is watercraft decontamination.  The Watercraft Decontamination Station is a free service provided by Hubbard County.  Decontamination is an important step in preventing the spread of AIS.  The Decontamination Station is staffed by MN DNR trained and certified Level II Watercraft Inspectors.  The decontamination process consists of three possible components; hand removal, hot water treatment, and high-pressure treatment.  If there are plants or mussels attached to a boat they can be removed by hand or with high-pressure water.  Any organisms that may be too small to see can be killed by flushing with hot water 100-140° F.  

The Hubbard County FREE Watercraft Decontamination Station is located at:
812 Henrietta Ave S 

Park Rapids, MN 56470 
Available 7 Days a Week 10 AM - 6 PM  
On Call:

Looking for a Decontamination Station Closer to Bemidji?
Try Beltrami County's FREE Decontamination Station
2400 Middle School Drive
Bemidji, MN 56601
Available 7 Days a Week On-Call: 218-760-8519