Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in general have few natural predators, high reproductive rates, displace native species and are living outside their native range. This makes the role of those living and visiting Brown County even more important. Each of us can prevent the spread of invasive species through simple actions.

Clean – inspect for and remove aquatic plants, mussels, and other invasive species from equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland

Drain – remove boat plug to drain water from boat, ballast tanks, bilge, bait container, motor and wells and keep drain plugs out during transportation

Dispose – change bait water before leaving location using bottled or tap water and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. It is illegal to release live bait into water, to release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another or dump worms on the ground

For additional prevention with your watercraft, you are encouraged to spray with high pressure water, rinse with very hot water, and dry for at least 5 days. This is especially important when moving from a water body that is known to be infested with zebra mussels. By performing these simple actions, you can protect water quality, fisheries, property values, and encourage tourism within Brown County. If we do not prioritize preventing the spread of AIS, the water resources that enable recreational activities such as boating, angling, and swimming, are exposed to the threat of AIS. Remember to Clean, Drain, and Dry your equipment, replace bait water, and be aware of lakes infested with invasive species around you! Each of us contributes to the health of the lakes and streams in Brown County and Minnesota.


  • Minnesota River – Zebra Mussels, Bighead Carp, Grass Carp
  • Sleepy Eye Lake – Curly Leaf Pondweed, Common Carp
  • Lake Hanska – Curly Leaf Pondweed, Common Carp
  • Clear Lake – Common Carp
  • Wellner-Hageman Reservoir – Common Carp


Left to Right: Common Carp, Zebra Mussels, Grass Carp, Curly-leaf Pondweed, Bighead Carp

Check your watercraft trailer and equipment before and after boating. If you find any vegetation, dirt, or mussels take a quick moment to remove all that you see to prevent the spread of AIS.


If you suspect the presence of an AIS within Brown County, please report it to one of the contacts below.


Links below offer a guide to lakes infested with invasive species, identification guides, proper methods to help prevent the spread of AIS, and links to other AIS information.

  • List of lakes and rivers in Minnesota that are considered infested with an invasive species                                                                 
  • Pictures and information to help identify and understand why invasive species are an issue                                                       
  • Helpful link for recreationists and lake shore owners, as well as information about clean, drain, dispose                         
  • Clean Drain Dry Initiative (CD2)                                                   

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