The Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers and boaters that as the holiday weekend approaches they should clean their boats, trailers and equipment before and after use to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in Michigan. Boats can unintentionally spread invasive species from one body of water to another, but most of these situations are avoidable by following a few, simple steps:
•Clean boats, trailers and equipment before you launch and again after.
•Drain water from bilges and livewells at the ramp before leaving.
•Dry trailers, boats, equipment and storage areas thoroughly before using them in a different body of water.
•Dispose of unused bait in the trash.
•Don’t transfer live fish to water bodies, other than where they were originally caught.
•Disinfect livewells and bilges with a bleach solution comprised of one-half cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water
Michigan laws prohibit placing a boat, trailer or other boating equipment into state waters with plant material attached.
For more information on the importance of cleaning boats and equipment to prevent aquatic invasive species, check out the video above created by the Michigan Sea Grant program, with support from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.