You’re not the only one who wants to ride on your boat: if you’re not careful, invasive species can hitch a ride on your boat and trailer from one body of water to another. While some invasive species are visible to the human eye, others are too small to be seen, so it’s important to clean and dry your boat after a day on the water. Here are some tips on how boaters can help prevent the spread of invasive species.
- Remove any visible plants, mud and creatures from your boat, trailer, clothes and equipment, even your pets. Be sure to check your anchor, prop, lines and fenders
- Clean your boat, rinsing everything that came into contact with the water before you leave the launch ramp. If you can, use high-pressure, hot water.
- Flush your motor, following the factory guidelines.
- Drain water from your boat, bilge, livewells, hatches and any place that might hold water. Before towing your boat home, remove the drain plug to allow it to drain completely.
- Allow your boat, trailer and any equipment to dry before bringing them to another body of water. Five days is recommended, but check local laws and regulations, which may require longer.