Zebra Mussels

GOVERNMENT CENTER––The fines for illegally transporting aquatic invasive species will be going up thanks in part to a group of citizens that said the fines were too low.

The resolution passed with no opposing votes at the Natural Resources committee recently. With zebra mussels already in the McKenzie chain of lakes, the land and water conservation services have been doing a lot to educate the public about these species.

Last year various associations began setting up decontamination stations to clean off boats or any boating equipment including kayaks and trailers. That equipment or any other watercraft is not to enter a lake if “aquatic plants, terrestrial plants, or aquatic animals are attached.”

The previous fine for first offense was no more than $25. A group earlier this year told the committee that amount was not enough of a deterrent to stop people.

The second offense was set between $25 and $100 with the third offense being between $100 and $250. Now the fines will increase across the board.

First offense will now be at least $125 and will not exceed $225 and second will be between $250 and $350. The third offense will now be a minimum of $350 and will not exceed $450.