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 watercraft inspectors for the 2019 season!

Watercraft Inspectors serves to inform and educate the public to the threats of ecologically harmful aquatic invasive species to Minnesota’s waters. Inspectors work at public water access sites educating the public by providing information to watercraft users and conducting a brief survey while inspecting watercraft for invasive species.

There are two levels to this position:

  • Level I Watercraft Inspector: Required to pass a MNDNR inspection training course. Responsible for public education, watercraft inspections for Aquatic Invasive Species, documentation and reporting, on-site surveys and sample collection. Starting pay is $12.50 per hour.
  • Level II Watercraft Inspector: Required to attend a MNDNR decontamination training course in addition to a MNDNR inspection training course. A Level II inspector will have the same responsibilities as a Level I, but will also be certified to perform decontamination services using hot, high-pressure water. Starting pay is $13.00 per hour.


Level 1 Watercraft Inspector Training: April 29, 2019 at the Mt. Iron Community Center. Arrangements can be made for applicants who need to attend a training at a different date and/or location.

  • Educate the public on invasive species program and issues
  • Distribute written information to watercraft users
  • Inspect watercraft for invasive species
  • Conduct a verbal survey & inspection inventory
  • Provide excellent customer service skills and the ability to work with the public and in an office and field setting.
  • Work independently with minimal supervision
  • Communicate effectively.
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Available to work weekends, weekdays and holidays on a regular basis throughout employment (Approximately May through October) between 5am – 8 pm.
  • A Valid Minnesota Class D Driver’s License.


Always There Staffing, Inc

Project Reports

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 13th at 10:30 a.m.
New Location: 505 3rd St N, Ste A, Virginia MN 55792

View Meeting Schedule »
Minnesota Clean Air and Water Legacy Amendment