Invasive species have already won
To the editor:
Re: Editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Alexandria Echo Press, "In Minnesota the invasive species are winning," and "No one has right to infest a lake.
The invasive species have already won. We need to change the approach.
I disagree. Inspection and decontamination will not solve the problem. Industry has shown that inspection does not work. It is a tool but is not 100 percent.
In my mind, decontamination is a myth. Even if the temperature is high enough, once water leaves the nozzle, the temperature drops once it hits air, a boat or trailer. A trailer has hollow tubes and there is no way to decontaminate inside the tubes. If bunks are carpeted, there is no way to assure they are decontaminated. The lower unit has some small amount of water that can contaminate another lake. Live wells, even drained, retain a small amount of water. Fishing tournaments and lakeshore equipment operators are suspect. What about wildlife?
Your proposal is to increase decontamination? At what cost? What is the ROI? It is cost prohibitive to put inspection and decontamination at every boat launch, 24 hours per day.
I agree that no one has a right to infest a lake. I find it hard to believe that anyone would knowingly contaminate a lake, which is naïve. It will be difficult to legislate ignorance, stupidity, or those that do not care.
I live on a lake infested with zebra mussels. I have opted to not support our lake association or the MSPRO, because they support inspection. It is the wrong approach. If we stay the course, in five to 10 years, all Minnesota lakes will be infested. Invest in lake shoes.
Invest in education and finding a way to genetically kill or neuter zebra mussels. Otherwise, they have already won.