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, Fayal Township and the City of Gilbert to offer watercraft inspection and decontamination services in the Ely, Tower, Cook, Orr, Eveleth and Gilbert areas. 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 Burntside Lake, Shagawa Lake, Lake Vermilion, Pelican Lake, Ely Lake, and Gilbert Pit from Walleye Fishing Opener through mid-late October annually.

Watercraft Decontaminations

Decontamination services are offered at no charge to watercraft owners in the Cook, Tower, Ely and Gilbert areas. Watercraft users can get their boat, canoe, kayak, jet ski, etc. decontaminated in 10-20 minutes. It’s a voluntary process but according to state law, watercraft found with AIS must be decontaminated before launching. These centrally-located decontamination units are staffed May through mid-September annually.

Project Reports

Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Program 2018

Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Program 2017

Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Program 2016

Project Partners


Burntside Lake Association

Vermilion Lake Association

Pelican Lakeshore Owners Association

Fayal Township

City of Gilbert

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

307 1st St S, Suite 114
Virginia, MN 55792

Upcoming Board Meetings

Wednesday, February 13 at 10:30 a.m. Suite 118
The public is encouraged to attend.

View Meeting Schedule »
Minnesota Clean Air and Water Legacy Amendment