Clean Water - Invasive Species
Invasive species (sometimes called aquatic nuisance species) are those plants and animals that are non-native to an ecosystem. Invasive species tend to grow rapidly and spread easily. These organisms can hitch a ride on our clothing, boats, and items used in the water. When we move our boats from one body of water to another, invasive species can move with us. If the conditions are right, these species can spread and contaminate the new waterways.
Test your clean boat savvy with a short quiz. By answering a few quick questions, you can show that you are ready to protect our waterways from harmful invasive species.
Why Should I Care?Because invasive species have few predators they can out-compete native species for space and food. This can lead to a reduction of native species, especially game fish populations, and can make some lakes and rivers unsuitable for boating due to excessive vegetation coverage. Some species of plants and mussels can ruin boat engines and steering equipment by entangling propellers or attaching themselves to boat equipment, resulting in large repair bills for boaters. Overall invasive species degrade natural ecosystems and impair the value and uses of the water bodies where they are found.
What Can I Do?
- Learn to identify invasive species in your area. See the list below of commonly found invasive species in the U.S.
- Report sightings of invasive species to your state's natural resources agency.
- Drain livewells, bilge water, and transom wells at the launch.
- Dispose of your unwanted bait on land or in the trash, not in the water.
- Remove all vegetation from boat, motor and trailer (see graphic below).
- Clean all equipment, clothing and footwear.
- Don't dip your bait bucket into a lake or river if it contains water from another waterbody.
Common Invasive Species Include:(click on each to learn more)
For more information on Aquatic Nuisance Species visit Protect Your Water's website by clicking on their logo below.