Aquatic Invasive Species (A.I.S.)
You may not recognize the letters "A.I.S." or hear the words "Aquatic Invasive Species" very often, but you've almost certainly heard these words:
If you're a Harry Potter fan, hearing those words is like hearing the words "Lord Voldemort" spoken out loud. Maybe we should start referring to those aquatic invasive species as "The Lake Killers Who Must Not Be Named."
So far, we've been lucky. Lake Belle Taine is free (at the moment!) of any Aquatic Invasive Species. But all it potentially takes is ONE BOAT which has come from a lake stricken by an A.I.S. and the nature of our lake could change forever. One little strand of Eurasion Millfoil hanging on a propeller or boat trailer, or a live well that has some water with some Zebra Mussels microbes floating in it, could turn Lake Belle Taine into the latest victim of these nasty invaders.
The Lake Belle Taine Association is doing all it can to keep these terrible things out of our lake as long as possible. And you can help in any number of ways. How?
A) by becoming a member of the Lake Belle Taine Association and paying your annual dues
B) by contributing an additional amount to the Association's Aquatic Invasive Species fund
C) by volunteering to become an official Aquatic Invasive Species spotter through Hubbard County and/or the DNR
D) by talking about the Lake Association to your fellow Lake Belle Taine lakeshore owners and asking them if they're members!
E) by making sure if you take your boat or personal watercraft to some other lake that you thoroughly clean it when you depart that lake, drain any water from your watercraft, and ideally, let it dry out before launching it back in our lake.
E) by making sure to tell any family members or guests who might be visiting you and bringing their boats or personal watercraft from parts of Minnesota or the Upper Midwest where A.I.S. are present to make DARN SURE they've thoroughly cleaned their equipment before coming near Lake Belle Taine!
For a great visual guide to everything one needs to do to properly clean your watercraft, visit this MN DNR webpage:
If you know - or even suspect - that a boat or other watercraft has previously been in a body of water where A.I.S. might be present, you should absolutely have it decontaminated. There is a FREE watercraft decontamination service provided by the Hubbard County Environmental Services Department. They perform the service at a location just east of the Hubbard County Transfer Station (ie the dump) at 812 Henrietta Avenue South in Park Rapids. Call ahead to make an appointment at (218) 252-6738.
Docks, boat lifts and even scuba equipment can spread Aquatic Invasive Species!
Zebra Mussels have been found in rock quarries in Minnesota where clearly no boat has ever been launched.
If you buy a dock or lift from another individual, please make sure to give it a thorough inspection and cleaning before putting it in the lake. The best thing you can do is let it sit and dry out for a minimum of 21 days before putting it in the water.
If you have visitors bringing scuba equipment or anything else that has been in the water in another lake, please give it a through washing with hot water and soap and let it COMPLETELY DRY before allowing it to be used in Lake Belle Taine.
For more information on what you can to do prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species, check out any of the following informative websites:
The Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations (C.O.L.A.):
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website dedicated to Aquatic Invasive Species:
Andrea Dutcher is our Association's A.I.S. expert. If you'd like to help in the effort to keep Belle Taine A.I.S.-free, please call Andrea at (607) 227-5931 or drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the "How You Can Help" tab on this website!