Minnesota boaters will be forced to meet new requirements before launching their watercraft in Minnesota lakes this summer. A new law starting July 1, 2015 will require every person driving a boat on a trailer to take a 30-minute online course on aquatic invasive species, pass a test, pay a fee, and display a boat trailer decal.
The new law has sparked outcry from sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts across the state. In response, Senator Jeremy Miller has introduced Senate File 85, which would eliminate the new boat trailer decal requirement.
“I have long been a supporter of protecting our waterways from invasive species,” said Senator Miller. “But after speaking with constituents, sportsmen and women, other legislators, and interested groups, it has become clear there are many concerns about this particular law.
“It’s critical we continue to raise awareness about invasive species and while this provision was well intended, we can find better and more productive solutions to provide training and information. I am committed to working with all interested parties to do what we can to combat the spread of A.I.S. and we welcome any and all input on this important issue,” concluded Senator Miller.
Online training will be available on the DNR website on January 31, 2015.
Paper home-study training packets will also be available on January 31, 2015 by calling 651-351-2000 (extra mailing fees may apply).
Boat trailer decals are required starting July 1, 2015, and must be renewed every three years. The decal must be adhered to the side of the trailer frame tongue near the hitch in a manner that is readily visible and does not interfere with the display of any other trailer registration requirements.
Mandatory fees are yet to be determined.
More details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the DNR website.