Boat registration fee increase goes into effect – and toward invasive species prevention

(Minnesota DNR)

A broadly-supported measure that went into effect today (Monday, July 1) is intended to significantly enhance aquatic invasive species prevention and management in Minnesota, the state DNR said in a news release Monday.

The increase in the aquatic invasive species watercraft surcharge on the three-year watercraft registration increased from $5 to $10.60. This is the first increase in the AIS registration surcharges since 1993. Watercraft owners will pay the increased fee when registering new watercraft, or when the registrations on existing watercraft come up for renewal.

Reducing the spread of aquatic invasive species is a major focus for the DNR and its partners, the DNR said in the release. The surcharge increase allows the DNR and its partners to manage existing AIS infestations, reduce the spread to new waterbodies and help prevent the introduction of new species.

The increased fee will provide an increase of $880,000 per year for the DNR’s invasive species program for fiscal years 2020-21. This will allow the DNR to reinstate local AIS management grants, respond to new discoveries and continue to conduct AIS inspections.

The AIS surcharge increase was part of the budget package put forward by Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan. It was passed by the Minnesota Legislature as part of this year’s omnibus environment and natural resources bill.

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