I made a run to the licensing office in East Grand Forks today to make sure the registration for my boat, which I store out of town, hadn’t expired and was reminded of a new requirement for boats and other watercraft that launch in Minnesota waters.
Under state law, watercraft owners or operators must display an “Aquatic Invasive Species Rules Decal” before launching or operating on any waters of the state. The requirement appears to apply to boats from out of state, as well.
The stickers are free and available from the DNR, but frankly, I wouldn’t have known anything about them if the clerk at the license office hadn’t voluntarily given me one as I was headed out the door. Such is life in the new reality of fishing and boating regulations since aquatic invasive species made their unwelcome appearances in waters across North America.
Apparently — and this isn’t the least bit clear, either in the regulations or on the sticker itself — the top part of the two-piece sticker goes on the boat somewhere near the registration decals, while the bottom part goes on the trailer near the winch. Just to confirm, I checked with a DNR conservation officer, and he said he wasn’t sure where the stickers went.
At any rate, the stickers now are required, and if you’re planning to launch or operate your boat in Minnesota, you’d be well served to stop at a licensing outlet and get one. For more information, check out Page 23 of the 2012 Minnesota boating guide, which you can download here: