Koochiching County expects more than $100,000 from the state to fight aquatic invasive species.

Matt Gouin, county Environmental Services director, told the county board last week that the county is expected to receive $124,476 in AIS funding from the state to cover Koochiching's 2021 AIS program.

Gouin said efforts have focused on boat inspections at the busiest boat accesses in the county. He said the most active landing is Voyageurs National Park's Rainy Lake access, where 3,400 inspections were conducted in 2020, followed by Bohman's Landing, Highway 11 east, where 1,800 inspections were conducted. About three boat inspections per hour were conducted on average, he said.

The funding is based on a state formula that takes into account the number

trailer launches and parking spaces in each county.

Gouin noted a collaboration with North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District to provide Inspections at Kabetogama Lake and Ash River was successful.

The collaboration provided Koochiching County with funds to staff inspectors at two landings on Kabetogama Lake and Ash River throughout the summer. Koochiching inspectors spent just under 800 hours at these sites this year and completed more than 2,500 inspections.

The county board approved moving forward with the 2021 program. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources legislative responsibility to prevent and manage the spread of AIS, by providing funding to counties to implement AIS management and prevention. Koochiching has used the money to operate an inspection and decontamination program at boat launches throughout the county.

Snapshot of 2020 activities

  • $78,000 - amount of state AIS Prevention Aid used
  • 9,262 - number of watercraft inspected
  • 3,046 - hours of inspections performed
  • 6 - number of access covered by inspections
  • 2 - bodies of water covered by inspectors
  • 99 percent - amount of watercraft recorded as arriving with drain plugs out