Boating in the rain

Be an invasive species fighter! Clean, drain, dry your boat

Today’s post comes from our friends at the Invasive Species Centre.

Ontario is home to wonderful lakes, rivers and streams. Unfortunately, some of these waterways are home to aquatic invasive species such as Zebra or Quagga Mussels.

These species can be spread from one waterbody to another through watercraft that have not been properly cleaned, drained and dried between uses.

The microscopic forms of these mussels, called veligers, can survive in a watercraft’s standing water for weeks. If this standing water mixes with water in the waterbody you are boating on, that waterbody may potentially become infested.

There are three simple steps to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and diseases:

Clean

Two boats sitting on the shore

Clean and inspect your watercraft, trailer and gear. Remove all mud, sand, and plant materials before leaving the shore. Rinse, scrub or pressure wash your boat, kayak or canoe away from storm drains, ditches or waterways.

Drain

On land, before leaving the waterbody, drain all water from: bait buckets, ballasts, bilges, coolers, internal compartments, livewells and non-motorized watercraft by inverting or tilting the watercraft, opening compartments and removing seats if necessary.

Dry

warden talking to boaters

Dry the watercraft and gear completely between trips and allow the wet areas of your boat to air dry and leave compartments open and sponge out standing water.

Learn more about these unwanted invasive fish and invertebrates and invasive aquatic plants and how you can help shut them out of Ontario’s parks and protected areas at the Invasive Species Centre.