Green Visions: Aquatic Invasives with Matthew Santo
The ice fishing season is winding down and the boating season is still months into the future, but education regarding aquatic invasive species is ongoing. Matthew Santo is the Invasive Species Specialist with 1854 Treaty Authority and has been working on both research and outreach.
Some of the research has yielded regulations for anglers. "All the live bait available in Minnesota is produced within Minnesota and the idea behind that is to restrict the number of invasive species coming into the state," says Santo. Ideally, this effort will stabilize the aquatic invasives.
Beyond regulations and research, the outreach continues. The "clean, drain, dry" principle is still a requisite for anglers. This goes for ice fishing as well. Additionally, left over bait should be disposed of or gifted to another angler; don't dump it into the water. Santo notes that this can seem counter intuitive. "If [the live bait] is on a hook it's probably not going to live long enough to impact the water," says Santo. Inversely, a handful of live minnows released into the water could ultimately have a drastic effect on the ecosystem.
More information can be found online at the Minnesota DNR website and on the 1854 Treaty Authority website.