Polk County Aquatic Invasive Species Taskforce

Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers Clean All Recreational Equipment. It’s the Law.

In 2015 Polk County formed an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Taskforce to help in the fight against aquatic invasive species within the County. The taskforce consists of members from all around the County and represents several different entities. 


Members include: 

  • Loren Abel - Maple Lake Improvement District
  • Ken Pederson  - East Polk SWCD Board
  • Nicole Bernd - West Polk SWCD
  • Michael Norland, Scott Bixby, & James Tadman - Polk County Sheriff’s Office
  • Margo Bowerman -Youth Development - UMN Extension
  • Gerald & Mary Ann Olson, Rolland Gagner (Alternate) - Union-Lake Sarah Improvement District representing Lake Sarah
  • Christina Slowinski - Red Lake Watershed District
  • Rachel Klein, Maria Schomner- East Polk SWCD
  • Joan Lee - Polk County Board
  • Richard Rock, Lonnie Paradis (Alternate) - Union-Lake Sarah Improvement District representing Union Lake
  • Ilane Rue, Steve Tischman (Alternate) - Polk County Township Association
  • Rich Sanders - Polk County Public Works
  • Jon Steiner, Jacob Snyder - Polk County Environmental Services

Aquatic Regulations (JPG) Opens in new window


The taskforce has been busy working on several projects focusing on education and public awareness this year. Billboards, public access signs, and a few promotional items have already been utilized to help spread the message about the threat that AIS poses in Polk County and around the state. The taskforce is hoping to accomplish many great things in the years to come.

New 2021

The Polk County AIS taskforce is excited to announce the purchase of a CD3 watercraft cleaning station to use during the 2021 boating season.  The unit consists of tools that aid lake-river users with keeping watercrafts clean prior to and after launching in access sites throughout Polk County.  This cleaning system is equipped with a wet-dry vacuum, air hose for drying, grabber tools, and a brush to scrub off watercrafts.  Below is a demonstration of the CD3 watercraft cleaning system.  

boat cleaning station made by CD3 for AIS prevention


In 2021 the taskforce will hire 2 or 3- seasonal interns to help with AIS activities, mainly focusing on watercraft inspections at public water access sites around the County. The taskforce purchased 2- I-LIDS monitoring systems for Maple Lake and Union Lake in 2017. You can learn more about I-LIDS by reading our document (PDF).

  1. General Documents
  2. What You Can Do to Help
  3. Meetings
  4. Related Links