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New Boating Regulations Take Effect July 1

SOLON, IA (CBS2/FOX28) – Nic Rhinehart is part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ plan to help stop cross-contamination between bodies of water. He makes sure boats do not carry any harmful plants from one lake to another, allowing them to kill existing organisms.

“They can take hold in the lake and start reproducing and cause the native species to go into strain and reducing their numbers,” said Rhinehart, a DNR Seasonal Aide.

Steps that he suggests boaters take become law on July 1.

Boaters must remove their boat plugs before driving on main roads and they must remove all vegetation from their boat and trailer before leaving the boat ramp.

The good news is that is already what many folks do. Taking plugs out and removing vegetation are simple steps to keep a boat clean, even if that vegetation is not harmful.

“It’s really hard to tell,” said Cedar Rapids resident Dennis Willey. “Because it gets all wadded on there and you get multiple pieces of vegetation together and you’re not actually going to know what it is.”

The changes in regulations might be new in Iowa, but they are already standard practice in many other states.

“They don’t want invasive species from different places and different lakes,” said Solon resident Norman Steinbach. “That’s the way they get transported, in the vegetation in the boats.”

The changes really help everyone. Cleaning off your boat and trailer at the ramp can save roughly $2 million of state money per lake in treatment costs.

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