Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) are plants, fish, invertebrates, and other creatures that are non-native to our lakes and rivers. Invasive species cause issues when they outcompete native animals and overwhelm their environment, with economic, environmental, and social ramifications. Each summer, Aitkin County hires AIS Watercraft Inspectors to check boats, docks, and other recreational watercraft for signs of invasive species. Aitkin County also has 4 decontamination units (decon units), which use hot water to clean and remove any invasive species that may be present on watercraft. A map of these decon units can be found below.

Directions to Decontamination Units:

  1. Mille Lacs boat access 1 mile west of Malmo on Hwy 18 — Click here for Google Maps directions
  2. Spirit Lake access 1.25 miles east of Hwy 169 on County Road 28 — Click here for Google Maps directions
  3. Lake Minnewawa access 3 miles east of Hwy 65 on Hwy 6 — Click here for Google Maps directions
  4. Army Corps Campground access on the NW end of Big Sandy, just east of Hwy 65 — Click here for Google Maps directions
A walleye graphic with the message: clean weeds and mud from boats and trailers, drain water from boats and bait, and dry docks and boat lifts for at least 30 days.

Invasive Species in Aitkin County Waters:

Common aquatic invasive species of concern in Aitkin County are:

A list of Minnesota’s infested waters can be found here: EDDMaps

Remember, always: Clean, Drain, and Dry!