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Help Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Source: Water Safety Journal June 2009 Vol. 25 No. 2

Introducing non-native species into waters can upset the balance of the ecosystem, hurting the environment. Aquatic nuisance species (Eurasian Milfoil, Zebra Mussels, Asian Carp, etc.) are most often spread between waterways by hitching a ride on boats and trailers. When transplanted into new waters, these organisms proliferate, displacing native species and damaging the water resource.

To help prevent the spread of AIS, boaters should follow a simple set of procedures each time when leaving the water:

  • Remove any visible plants, fish, or animals before transporting equipment.
  • Drain water from all equipment (motor, live well, bilge, transom well) before transporting.
  • Clean and dry anything that comes into contact with water (boats, trailers, equipment, boots, clothing, dogs).
  • Before moving to another waterbody either: Rinse your boat and equipment with hot (104 degree) water; or spray your boat and trailer with a high pressure water at a car wash; or dry your boat and equipment for at least 5 days.
  • Never release plants, fish, or animals into a waterbody unless they came out of that waterbody. Empty unwanted bait in the trash.
  • Learn to identify aquatic invasive species. Report any suspected infestations to the nearest DNR fisheries station.
  • If a boat, motor, trailer, live well, etc. have been out of the water for a considerable length of time (five days minimum—ten days better) any AIS should have died. To be sure, everything should be washed with hot water and allowed to dry before entering the lake.
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