Vermilion and Burntside AIS Boat Inspectors Train

While many fishermen go through their tackle boxes, the AIS team members at Lake Vermilion and Burntside Lake are practicing their AIS education and inspection skills ahead of the May 13th fishing opener. About 50 DNR-authorized inspectors will greet boaters at public and private boat accesses on the two lakes throughout the summer.

The first step was DNR “Level 1” training last Friday at Greenwood Town Hall on Lake Vermilion. Additional DNR classes will follow over the next 10 days.

The AIS boat inspection team will also attend a one-day advanced training workshop at Vermilion Community College on May 31 to further build their skills. The team will spend the day with:

  • O’Niell Tedrow (VCC Biology Instructor): Ecological overview
  • Rich Rezanka (MN DNR AIS Specialist): AIS Invertebrates
  • Marte Kitson (MN Sea Grant Environmental Educator): AIS Plants
  • Mike Scott (MN DNR Conservation Officer): Law enforcement involvement, de-escalation strategies
  • Denise Stromme (UMN Extension Leadership Educator): Conflict as an opportunity for change
  • Jerritt Johnston (True North Business Consultants Trainer/Educator): Customer service in challenging situations
  • Rima Smith-Keprios (Cass County AIS Coordinator): Boat inspection, role playing

Vermilion and Burntside AIS inspectors will be joined by inspectors from adjacent counties. About 80 attendees are expected.

The day-long advanced training program is funded by an AIS prevention grant from St Louis County. Burntside Lake Association, Vermilion Lake Association, North St Louis SWCD, and Vermilion Community College are jointly hosting the event.

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