Controversial Wright County boat inspection program halted
Category: Legislative Alert
Apr 24th, 2019 by Keith Worrall 592
Modified Apr 24th, 2019 at 11:44 AM
A closely watched Wright County pilot program aimed at preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species is ending.
In 2017, Wright County became the first Minnesota county to require boats and trailers to be inspected at a regional checkpoint before they were allowed on certain lakes. County officials hoped to provide better inspection coverage and reduce the risk that boaters might transport invasive species to a new lake.
This year, county officials had planned to expand the program to include six more lakes. They also added an exemption for people who took a class on how to inspect their own boats.
But the ordinance governing the pilot project was automatically repealed when the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources didn’t approve it by an April 15 deadline. Instead, Wright County officials say they will go back to conducting random inspections at boat ramps this summer — the practice used in most Minnesota counties.
Hannah Purcell checks in Annandale boater Gerry Bahe as Bradley Hansen gets started inspecting his boat for any invasive species. Paul Middlestaedt for MPR News file