Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that live primarily in water and thrive in their new environment, often out-competing native species. Well known AIS include: zebra mussels, curlyleaf pondweed, Eurasion watermilfoil, spiny waterflea, sea lamprey, and Asian carp. AIS management has quickly become one of the County's biggest challenges. Although the scenario varies by lake and by species, it is clear that the easiest and most cost effective method is prevention.

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When Crow Wing County was identifying the priorities for the 2013 to 2023 Water Plan, a survey was sent to all riparian landowners in the County as well as to various stakeholder groups and to the general public (via a press release and participation at the County Fair). The results of that survey indicated that Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) was the top surface water priority. As the survey indicates, Crow Wing County has seen an ever-increasing demand from citizens and lake associations to become an active participant in the fight against AIS.

The County's stated goal with respect to AIS in the 2013 to 2023 Water Plan is: To provide leadership in the fight against Aquatic Invasive Species by developing proactive solutions aimed at educating and empowering local citizens.

Under this goal are four primary objectives:

  1. Lake Association Coordination
  2. Watercraft Inspection
  3. Lake Improvement District (LID) Management
  4. Education and Outreach

AIS Decontamination

Decontamination stations are available to boaters free of charge, with priority given to boaters who have been referred for decontamination by watercraft inspectors or law enforcement present on area landings. For more information about Brainerd Lakes Area Decontamination Stations, see the resources:

Decontamination Stations

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Starry Trek Event (Starry Stonewort)

For the first time, Crow Wing County hosted "Starry Trek" Saturday August 17, 2019. Starry Stonewort is an invasive algae that was first found in Lake Koronis in 2015 and has since spread to fourteen Minnesota lakes. A huge thank you to all the volunteers that participated in the search for Starry Stonewort. It was a successful event and a great learning experience! No Starry Stonewort was found during Starry Trek in Crow Wing County! There were 11 volunteers that searched 14 different lakes and some lakes had multiple accesses throughout the county. Please watch for more information to come on our 2020 Starry Trek!

Additional Information

Is your lake infested? 

Check out the interactive map for additional information.

More information on these objectives can be found in the 2013 to 2023 Crow Wing County Water Plan (PDF)

2019 AIS Prevention Plan approved on 3/12/2019

AIS Plan Public Comments and County Responses (PDF)

2019 AIS Plan (PDF)

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