AIS Photo Finish – Completed for 2022! Congratulations to the Winners!

Win this kayak!

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) threaten to upend the natural ecosystem in our lakes and rivers. These species often catch a ride on boats, even if you can’t see them. Weeds such as eurasian watermilfoil can catch on trailers, and both zebra mussel larvae and spiny waterfleas can be transported in even a small amount of water. That’s why you should always Clean, Drain, and Dry!

To increase the awareness of accidental AIS introduction, this summer the Aitkin Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is sponsoring a monthly giveaway of a kayak and paddle. At the end of the summer, there will also be a grand prize of a fishing kayak and paddle.

There are two easy steps to enter this contest:

  • 1. Take a picture of your boat after following one of the Clean, Drain, Dry steps. We know there’s lots of ways to have fun on Aitkin County’s lakes and rivers, so fishing boats, kayaks, canoes, ski boats, pontoons, other watercraft, watercraft trailers, and docks are all eligible for this contest. Here’s a few examples of what we’re looking for:
Removing your boat’s drain plug.
Make sure that your boat’s propeller is free of weeds and aquatic vegetation.
Using one of Aitkin County’s Decontamination Units.
A clean boat on shore, free of invasive species.

These pictures will only be used for verification purposes. SWCD staff will verify that the Clean, Drain, Dry steps were followed, then will discard the image.

  • Send your boat picture, along with your name, the lake you’re on, and your phone number to the Aitkin SWCD. We’ll accept mailed, emailed, and in-person submissions at our office. One entry per person per month, please.
  • Email: Please email your entry to
  • Mail/In-person entry: Our office is located at: Room 216, 307 2nd Street NW, Aitkin, MN 56431

At the end of each month, a winner will be chosen randomly from that month’s entries and will win a kayak and paddle! At the end of the season, a grand prize winner will be chosen randomly from all of the prior entries to win a grand prize of a fishing kayak and paddle!

The fine print: Contest entries will be accepted from May 1st until September 6th. For the purposes of the monthly giveaways, each new monthly period will begin on the first day of each month, between May 2022 and August 2022, for a total of 4 monthly prizes. The grand prize winner will be chosen on or around September 6th from all eligible entries received during the giveaway dates.

There is only one (1) entry per person per month. Any additional entries will be discarded — however, you should complete the Clean, Drain, Dry steps each time you move between lakes or rivers! Only lakes in Aitkin County are eligible for entry into this giveaway. There will be a lesser, alternative cash prize available for each of the monthly kayak giveaways and the grand prize. Aitkin SWCD staff and their immediate family members are not eligible for entry into this giveaway. Any personal information gathered will not be used for any purpose other than the administration of this giveaway and will be destroyed at the conclusion of this giveaway.