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What are Aquatic Invasive Species?

Invasive species are plants, animals, or diseases not Native to Minnesota that have been introduced to
waterbodies and cause harm to the environment, economy, and/or human or animal health. Some of
the invasive species in Wright County include: zebra mussels, starry stonewort, Eurasian watermilfoil,
curly-leaf pondweed, common carp, and many more.

What are we doing?

Wright SWCD receives money from the Local AIS Prevention Fund - approximately $230,000 annually.
This fund provides money to several programs to help prevent and limit the spread of AIS in Wright County and Minnesota.






Wright County AIS Infestation map


Wright SWCD coordinates AIS watercraft inspections throughout the county. These inspectors are trained to inspect entering and exiting equipment to make sure no aquatic invasive species are present. They have the authority to check all equipment including compartments (bilge, ballast, live wells, etc), and may deny launch to anyone for noncompliance. Most inspections will take less than 5 minutes.


There is a courtesy decontamination unit at:
1300 Business Blvd.
Annandale, MN 55302

which is a free service to kill and remove AIS from water related equipment. Most decontaminations are complete in less than 15 minutes, although equipment heavily crusted in zebra mussels will take longer.



Self-Service Tools

There are several tools available at the landings for boaters to follow best practices in preventing the spread of AIS. There are 5 CD3 units in the county with tools to remove hard-to-reach places on your boat and trailer.

man holding starry stonewort


Grant funding is available for lake groups that treat AIS populations in Wright County lakes. We fund surveys up to $1,000 and up to $3,000 of treatment with a 50% match. Requests for proposals are usually sent out in January.

Who makes decisions on AIS in Wright County?

Ultimately, the Board of Supervisors makes the decisions but an advisory committee meets multiple
times per year to discuss strategies in Wright County. We are also guided by our AIS management plan.
A 2024
 update for the plan is currently in progress.

AIS Committee

Alicia O'Hare — Committee Administrator

Curt Forst — Lake Association

Tina Diedrick — County Commissioner 

Kris Olson — SWCD Supervisor

Mike Zieska — SWCD Supervisor

Darek Vetsch — County Commissioner

Chuck Gardner— Sportsman

Vacant — Lake Association alternate

Vacant — Elected Official

Vacant —  Sportsman alternate

AIS on Pioneer PBS Prairie Sportsman

Aquatic Invasive Species True or False Challenge

Aquatic Invasive Species True or False Challenge

0:00 - T or F: Zebra mussels are invasive, but they do contribute to water clarity, which is good for our lakes. 0:28 - T or F: It is illegal to arrive at a lake access with a boat’s drain plug in place. 0:44 - T or F: Most Minnesota lakes have invasive species. False. 1:03 - T or F: Anglers should throw leftover worms in the trash and release minnows into the water for fish to feed on. 1:23 - T or F: Waterfowl contribute to the spread of invasive zebra mussels. False. 1:56 - T or F: Goldfish can survive cold winters in freshwater lakes and streams. 2:24 - T or F: The majority of Minnesota's prohibited Invasive species originally came from global commercial trading. 3:04 - AIS Public Service Announcement Test your knowledge on aquatic invasive species and learn how you can stop the spread. These True or False segments were featured in episodes of Prairie Sportsman (Season 13), a production of Pioneer PBS. Funding for these segments was provided by the Aquatic Invasive Species Task Forces of Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Meeker and Wright Counties of Minnesota. #PrairieSportsman #PioneerPBS #Minnesota Prairie Sportsman celebrates our love of the outdoors to hunt, fish and recreate, and promotes environmental stewardship. Prairie Sportsman’s team includes: Dylan Curfman, producer/editor/videographer Cindy Dorn, writer/producer Bret Amundson, host/editor Dan Amundson, videographer/editor Cera Cordova, Videographer/Editor The 2024 season is made possible by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Live Wide Open, Western Minnesota Prairie Waters and members of Pioneer PBS. Pioneer PBS is a viewer-supported television station dedicated to sharing local stories of the region with the world. Support our mission and become a member at
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