Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that live primarily in water and thrive in their new environment, often out-competing native species. Well known AIS include: zebra mussels, curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny waterflea, and starry stonewort. AIS management has quickly become one of the County’s biggest challenges. Although the scenario varies by lake and by species, it is clear that the easiest and most cost-effective method is prevention.

Love our Lakes?

Help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and share our vision of being Minnesota's Favorite Place! We are recruiting up to 70 watercraft inspectors to work weekends May through September at various boat landings in Crow Wing County. If you enjoy working outdoors, educating others, possess excellent customer service and communication skills, we invite you to apply!

2024 AIS Plan

2024 AIS Plan (PDF)

AIS Decontamination

Decontamination stations are available to boaters free of charge, with priority given to boaters who have been referred for decontamination by watercraft inspectors or law enforcement present on area landings. Crow Wing County staffs a permanent decontamination located in Crosslake (PDF) and a mobile decontamination unit that the location of varies each weekend to better serve the residents and visitors of Crow Wing County. 

Where are decontamination stations located? Check out the interactive map for additional information.

For mobile decontamination locations, text CWCDECON to 1-833-258-7509.

Clean Your Boat: Learn about Invasive Species

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When Crow Wing County was identifying the priorities for the 2013 to 2023 Water Plan, a survey was sent to all riparian landowners in the County as well as to various stakeholder groups and to the general public (via a press release and participation at the County Fair). The results of that survey indicated that aquatic invasive species (AIS) was the top surface water priority. As the survey indicates, Crow Wing County has seen an ever-increasing demand from citizens and lake associations to become an active participant in the fight against AIS.

The County’s stated goal with respect to AIS in the 2013 to 2023 Water Plan is: To provide leadership in the fight against aquatic invasive species by developing proactive solutions aimed at educating and empowering local citizens.

Under this goal are four primary objectives:

  1. Lake Association Coordination
  2. Watercraft Inspection
  3. Lake Improvement District (LID) Management
  4. Education and Outreach

Starry Trek Event (Starry Stonewort)

Crow Wing County has hosted "Starry Trek"  events for three years.  Starry Stonewort is an invasive algae that was first found in Lake Koronis in 2015 and has since spread to seventeen Minnesota lakes. A huge thank you to all volunteers that have participated in the search for Starry Stonewort. These events have been successful and a great learning experience. No Starry Stonewort has been found during Starry Trek in Crow Wing County. Please watch for more information to come on this years' Starry Trek!

More information on these objectives can be found in the Crow Wing County Water Plan

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