In a massive power grab attempt by 9 Annandale area lake associations, the Wright County Commissioners, and now an amendment in the Minnesota Senate bill SF 2314. Area fishermen/women and boaters rights to access public waters are under threat in the name of stopping AIS (aquatic invasive species).
The program called The Wright County Regional Inspection Pilot Program
(WRIP) was original started in 2017 included 3 lakes, but has been expanded to a total of 9 lakes starting this year.
The program forces boater to first travel to a wash/AIS inspection site in Annandale to be inspected before they are allowed to launch. The site is around 15 miles out of the way for some lakes, and the hours are limited. For example, if a person wanted to go fishing early in the morning they would have to drive to the site the day before.
Inconveniences brought on by this program, and the threat of punishment (up to $1,000 in fines) for not compiling have greatly cut boat traffic. This has gone on to hurt the local economy. Do to the lose of out of town traffic, and some locals choosing to go out of the area to fish or boat. Less people coming through means less money spent.
The worst aspect of this program is that most of the lakes in this program are already infected with AIS, and the program eliminated exit inspections on the lakes. Which points toward the obvious truth that is nothing more than a attempt by the lake associations to cut traffic on “their” lakes. If it was truly about stopping AIS they would have exit inspections. It is clear that this is about control, they are taking your right to access public waters.
The only good news is the DNR to dismay of the lake associations cut funding to the program after this years expansion to 9 lakes. The program is set to make a comeback (unless its stop) as a amendment to SF 2314 in the Minnesota Senate which will force the DNR to fund the program.
This program is the start of a very slippery slop. Once it is accepted in Wright County it will be expanded indefinitely. Our rights to access public waters are at risk.