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 decontamination units are staffed May through mid-September annually.

We are seeking AIS Watercraft Inspectors for the 2020 season!

See link for full job description Watercraft Inspector Position Description and Notice

Project Reports

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

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, November 10th at 10:30 a.m.
This meeting will be held in-person at the St. Louis County Public Works building at 7823 Hwy 135 ,Virginia, MN. A Zoom connection is available by contacting Anita Provinzino at least two hours prior to the meeting time. This meeting is open to the public, a mask and social distancing is required..

View Meeting Schedule »
Minnesota Clean Air and Water Legacy Amendment