FONTANA — DNR officials visiting Geneva Lake last week left marina workers confused about statewide policies on boating use.
Ed Snyder told the Fontana Lakefront and Harbor Committee that DNR officials visited at least three marinas in Fontana — Gordy’s Lakefront Marine, Jerry’s Majestic Marine and the Abbey Marina.
“It’s not the normal field agents,” he said. “It’s an enforcement person. They were handing out pamphlets ... every boat that gets pulled out of the lake has to have the drain plug pulled.”
Snyder said the DNR agent told marina workers that any seaweed or debris on the boat needed to be removed and the engine needs to be flushed clean each time it’s taken out of the lake.
“How many times during the day do you (at a marina) pull a boat out and flip it up to repair it and bring it right back down?” he asked. “The time you’d spend cleaning it and pulling every drain plug ... then half an hour later you’d have to screw back in the drain plug.”
Snyder said fines for not cleaning a boat are $250.
Todd Schaller, DNR conservation warden, said these rules aren’t new.
“These are regulations we’ve had in place for a while now,” he said in a phone interview Sept. 30. “This is something we’ve tried to be proactive about in keeping the invasive species contained.”
Schaller said any time water is transported from one lake to another, there’s a chance to transfer aquatic invasive species.
According to the DNR’s aquatic invasive species list online, Geneva Lake has three invasive species — zebra mussel, rusty crayfish and curly-leaf pondweed.
Because the DNR lacks the ability to be at every lake all the time, enforcement isn’t easy.
“We try to get people to voluntarily comply with these rules,” he said. “The best way to get people to comply is through education.”
However, some DNR regulations become state statute and can be enforced by local police.