AIS Prevention Aid Guidelines 2020–2025
Hennepin County has received funding from the State of Minnesota since 2014 to implement plans to stop the introduction or limit the spread of AIS. To receive funding, the county must establish guidelines for the use of the proceeds.
In 2019, adjustments were made to the county’s AIS prevention aid guidelines to direct the use of funds received 2020 through 2025. County staff engaged more than 60 stakeholders in evaluating the county’s AIS prevention programs, guidelines and funding options. Learn more about the evaluation by reading the Aquatic Invasive Species Program Evaluation Report (PDF).
Changes to the guidelines include:
- Updating the goals to reflect the Natural Resources Strategic Plan
- Defining the county’s best practices for public water access design
- Emphasizing unpredictability in inspections
- Setting funding by category goals to ensure the program is comprehensive
- Funding of core program functions of enforcement at public water accesses and public access redesign project outside of a grant solicitation process to help partners with long-term planning and streamline administrative tasks to implement public access redesign work.
See the 2020-2025 AIS Prevention Aid Guidelines (PDF) to learn more.
The accomplishments report highlights how Hennepin County is using the state funding and the results of the projects we support.
See the 2019-2020 AIS prevention program accomplishments report (PDF).
AIS in pet stores and garden centers: inspection and education
In 2021, we partnered with Fortin Consulting, INc. to inspect retail pet stores and garden cetners for aquatic invasive species (AIS) as a potential pathway for spreading AIS to Minnesota lakes and streams.
Read the report (PDF) to learn more.
Medicine Lake AIS aerial early detection pilot
In 2020, we partnered with HCI Hughes Company Innovations to conduct an innovative Aquatic Invasive Species early detection project utilizing an industrial drone. The drone was equipped with high-resolution optical and multispectral sensors and mapped approximately 50 acres on Medicine Lake. The area mapped was known to have three aquatic invasive species including Starry Stonewort.
Read the analysis and findings (PDF) to learn more.
Invasive goldfish study
In 2020, we partnered with the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District to assess the goldfish population and movement in Lake Cornelia system. Goldfish up to 16 inches in length were captured during this study and it was estimated that 27,472 goldfish exist in North Cornelia alone. Goldfish were recently added to the priority list for investigation and the county is on the leading edge of this work. Antennas were installed to monitor the movements of tagged goldfish to identify recruitment locations.
Read the full invasive goldfish population and inter-waterbody movement assessment (PDF) to learn more.
Lakes with limited access study
Hennepin County funded Fortin Consulting to survey 13 lakes and ponds without public boat access for the presence of aquatic invasive species. At least one aquatic invasive species was found in each of these waters, including curly-leaf pondweed, Chinese and banded mystery snails, and invasive carp and goldfish. The results from these surveys show AIS can spread into lakes without public boat accesses. These results highlight that efforts for prevention need to extend to multiple pathways.
Read the full assessing the risk of AIS in waters with no public access report (PDF) to learn more.
Public access redesign study
The county has redesigned several public accesses using theories from behavior change research to prompt boaters to take proper aquatic invasive species prevention actions. The county commissioned an observational study to evaluate the effectiveness of the redesign in encouraging boaters to take action.
Key takeaways from the study include:
- Redesigned accesses have better compliance rates
- Redesigned accesses have better self-inspection rates
- Redesigned accesses are successful at creating social norms and prompting action
- Boaters behave differently when DNR inspectors are present
- Data on tool use and timing can be used to improve AIS prevention programs
- Traditional access signage has limited affect
- Redesigning accesses can be cost effective way to prevent the spread of AIS
Based on the study results, county staff recommend expanding efforts to redesign accesses to promote aquatic invasive species prevention actions in conjunction with optimizing use times and creating uncertainty as to when inspectors will be present.
Read the full public access redesign observation summary report (PDF) to learn more.
Lake public access observations
This project is part of an effort to identify and manage pathways for the introduction and spread of invasive species into and within Hennepin County. The purpose of this project is to conduct observation research of aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention behavior for those using public lake accesses in Hennepin County.
See the 2020 lake public access observations for Aquatic Invasive Species prevention behaviors report (PDF).