Aquatic Invasive Species

Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Program

We’ve partnered with the MN DNR, Burntside Lake Association, Pelican Lakeshore Owners Association, Vermilion Lake Association, White Iron Chain of Lakes Association, Fayal Township, the City of Gilbert, and Voyageurs National Park to offer watercraft inspection and decontamination services on 10 different lakes. Funding is provided by St. Louis County AIS Prevention Program.

Watercraft Inspections

Watercraft inspectors are trained and certified by the MN DNR to visually and tactilely inspect watercraft for aquatic invasive species (AIS) or anything else that could potentially spread AIS, such as water, mud, plants or other debris. Inspectors educate boaters about the issues and impacts of AIS and inform boaters of the laws regarding AIS transportation. Inspectors also demonstrate to boaters how to inspect and remove AIS from boating equipment prior to leaving the lake access. Most inspections are quick, taking less than three minutes. However, if decontamination is required, boaters will be delayed. Inspectors are stationed at public and private accesses around Bear Island, Birch, Burntside, Crane, Ely, Gilbert-Pit, Kabetogama, Pelican, Shagawa and Vermilion Lakes from Walleye Fishing Opener through mid-late October annually.

Watercraft Decontaminations

Decontamination services are offered at no charge to watercraft owners. Watercraft users can get their boat, canoe, kayak, jet ski, etc. decontaminated in 10-30 minutes. It’s a voluntary process but according to state law, watercraft found with AIS must be decontaminated before launching. These decontamination units are staffed May through mid-September annually. Check out the Decon Site map for locations and times.

We are seeking AIS Watercraft Inspectors for the 2022 season!

Project Reports

Program Summary 2021

Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Program 2019

Resort Inspection Program 2019

Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Program 2018

Resort Inspection Program 2018

Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Program 2017

Resort Inspection Program 2017

Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Program 2016

Project Partners

St. Louis County


City of Gilbert

Fayal Township

Burntside Lake Association

Vermilion Lake Association

Pelican Lakeshore Owners Association

White Iron Chain of Lakes Association

Voyageurs National Park

More Information »
North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District

505 3rd St N, Ste A,
Virginia, MN 55792
Office Hours: 8:30 - 4 Monday-Friday and by appointment

Upcoming Board Meetings

Wednesday, October 18th at 10:30 a.m.
This meeting will be held in-person at the SWCD office. A link is available to join virtually by contacting Anita at least 2 hours prior to the meeting. The public is welcome to attend.

View Meeting Schedule »
Minnesota Clean Air and Water Legacy Amendment