New watercraft cleaning station unveiled on Minnetonka (video)

Mark Apfelbacher with CD3 uses the new watercraft cleaning station (above, below, video) during a demonstration Monday morning at Spring Park public boat access on Lake Minnetonka. (Photos and video by Brian Peterson)

A new, state-of-the-art watercraft cleaning station was unveiled Monday morning at the Spring Park public boat access on Lake Minnetonka.

The cleaning station to target – and remove – aquatic invasive species is part of a pilot project spearheaded by Wildlife Forever ­and its Clean Drain Dry Initiative and CD3, a Minnesota-based company that developed the cleaning stations.

It’s the third of five cleaning stations developed for the pilot project. Earlier this summer, stations were opened at Bryant Lake in Eden Prairie and Pike Lake near Duluth. As part of the project, stations also are planned for the North Arm access on Minnetonka and Riley Lake in Eden Prairie yet this open-water season.

The solar-powered, user-operated watercraft cleaning stations include compressed air, a wet/dry vacuum, marine lights for 24-hour-a-day use and a series of low-tech, cable-tethered tools.

Pat Conzemius, conservation director for Wildlife Forever, said the station is easy to operate, but just in case, a website listed on a panel on the unit offers step-by-step operating instructions. Cost of the unit was $19,500, Conzemius said, adding that while they are not decontamination units, the stations remain effective tools in the battle against AIS.

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