Spirit Lake Tribe deploys new weapon to fight aquatic nuisance

Devils Lake Newsroom Special Report

Spirit Lake Tribe announces installation of free to use, boater operated CD3 Cleaning System kiosk at the Spirit Lake Casino Marina to clean, drain and dry watercrafts and trailers.

SPIRIT LAKE -  Spirit Lake Tribe has a new tool in its fight against waterborne invasive species like Zebra mussels — thanks to the installation of a waterless, boater-operated system to clean, drain and dry watercraft and trailers, then dispose of water, weeds and debris. A CD3 Cleaning System, free for all to use, will be installed at the Spirit Lake Casino Marina October 11th, 2021.

Zebra mussels are generally small and can be identified by the distinctive stripes on their shells. If not contained, zebra mussels reproduce quickly and can damage waterways and boats and clog water treatment facilities and power plants.

Made possible by a US EPA Clean Water Act grant from the Spirit Lake Environmental Protection Administration, the Spirit Lake Tribe has invested in preventing the introduction of and keeping Mni Wakan/Devils Lake free from invasive species including Zebra Mussels. With Devils Lake being a popular destination for fisherman who bring boats from different lakes across the country we felt that it is an important step in the right direction to protect our lake for future generations. CD3 stands for “Clean, Drain, Dry and Dispose,” because the system provides a cleaning infrastructure for boaters to clean, drain, and dry their own boats and trailers.

Zebra mussels are spreading in waterways across the state and can cause serious problems.

The standalone unit offers a suite of self-service resources, including an air blower, wet-dry vacuum, hand tools, and lights to help boaters remove, then dispose of, water, weeds, and debris — including leftover bait. The stations serve as educational kiosks and even allow boaters to check-in and out of bodies of water. They also collect essential data for communities and indicate when invasive species are detected, to aid in aquatic invasive species (AIS) management and mitigation. Invasive species are non-native species accidentally introduced into a body of water by people, who bring them on boats from other bodies of water. Because invasive species are non-native, natural predators do not exist to keep populations in check, and they can quickly throw ecosystems out of balance by overwhelming and destroying native species.

Zebra mussels are shown attached to the top of a native mussel from Lake Mille Lacs in Minnesota. TNS Photo

Zebra Mussels are devastating to our natural ecosystems, fisheries, and local habitat, choking water recreation, and threatening local economies, not to mention increasing costs for monitoring. That’s why Spirit Lake Tribe is thrilled to offer our community this conveniently located, free, self-serve waterless cleaning system from CD3 Systems. This system has been shown to reduce AIS violation rates by over 70 percent across the United States. That means more fish to catch, more boating fun to be had — and fewer invasive species in our local lakes. When water recreation is damaged by invasive species local economies lose business. Fewer fish to catch means fewer visitors to our local lakes as well as bars, restaurants, and resorts in waterfront communities. It is estimated AIS costs the U.S. economy more than $300 billion dollars each year.

Whether you’re launching a pontoon or a fishing boat, you should always clean, drain, dry, and safely dispose of bait. Keeping your boat free from invasive species, and not dumping bait into Devils Lake keeps all connecting lakes, rivers, and streams healthy, providing better places to fish and swim. Our new CD3 System will address all invasive species that can be moved via watercraft and will make it easy for day boaters to do the right thing: stop spreading destructive species.

Zebra mussels are an invasive species in the US.

For more information on the new Spirit Lake Tribe CD3 System, visit spiritlakenation.com, or email: epadir@spiritlakenation.com or call Spirit Lake EPA Director, Josh Tweeton at 701-230-0798. CD3 Systems installations and educational services are an effective tool in the fight against aquatic invasive species. Self-serve units installed by organizations across the U.S. are free to use, available 24/7, and empower boaters to clean, drain, dry their boats and trailers, then dispose of water, waste, debris, and bait. For more information visit cd3systems.com.