Study Topics
Boats in Action Section Quiz Site Map
Aquatic Nuisance Species
Minimize the Risk

Here are some basic ideas that every boater needs to know in order to minimize the risk of being the carrier of ANS
to a new waterway:

  • If you are moving your boat from one water body to another, you are a potential carrier of plants and animals
    to the next waterway. Heads-up!
  • Both big boats and small boats can be the carrier of ANS.
  • Many ANS (like zebra mussels) can be transported in water, on equipment, the trailer, or on the boat.
    In their juvenile stage, you will not even be able to see them!
  • If you have visible growth on the side of your boat you should double check that these are not ANS – contact
    your state Sea Grant or US Fish and Wildlife Agent if you have any doubts. Moving ANS from one state to another
    is not only really stupid, it’s against the law. Check out or for more information.
  • If you are boating in an area where ANS are known to live, you should be especially careful about cleaning
    your boat off before taking it to a new waterway.
At any waterbody, if you have a small trailered boat, and have just pulled the boat out of the water but are still
at the ramp, here are some things to check.

  • Pull all plants or plant fragments off. Check the rollers to make sure there aren't any plants between
    the boat and the roller or the pads. Make sure your engine doesn't have any plants in the propeller.
  • Empty all water from the boat, the live well, the bilge, and the bait bucket.
  • Dump all unused bait at the fishing site, or give it to someone else who might be fishing.
  • Wash off your boat, your ski lines, your gear, your engine, and scrub with a disposable rag.
    Leave the rag in the garbage can at the ramp.
  • The overall idea with this cleaning process is to leave all plants and animals at the ramp, instead of
    moving any of them to another area of water or taking them home accidentally.

Aquatic Nuisance Species are probably here to stay.
Please do your part to minimize them and help slow their spread!

Plants, fish, insects and animals from home aquariums should not be disposed of
in lakes or anywhere in the natural environment. Many of these species are NOT native, and can destroy our local waterways.