Waterfowl Hunters Asked to Avoid Spreading Invasive Species
With the Minnesota hunting season underway, it is important for waterfowl hunters to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Invasive species can damage habitat for waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife, and can even cause waterfowl die-offs.
Invasive species such as purple loosestrife, zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, and faucet snails can be transported in waterfowl hunters’ boats, decoys or blind material, and other equipment without the proper precautions.
According to Eric Katzenmeyer, DNR invasive species specialist, “Hunters should take a few minutes to clean plants and mud, and drain water from duck boats, decoys, decoy lines, waders and push poles. It’s the key to avoiding the spread of aquatic invasive species in waterfowl habitat.”
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommends the following to help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species:
- Use elliptical, bulb-shaped, or strap decoy anchors
- Drain water and remove all plants and animals from boats and equipment
- Remove all plants and animals from anchor lines and blind materials
- Check compartments or storage in boats or kayaks that aren’t in use the rest of the year
Also, waterfowl hunters who want to use cattails or other plants for camouflage must cut them above the water line if they want to move them from lake to lake. They should not cut or move the seedheads of emergent non-native Phragmites, a restricted noxious weed in Minnesota also known as common reed.