Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers ... Prevention Procedures for Boaters PDF Print E-mail

Boats and boat trailers can easily transport aquatic hitchhikers in many different ways.  When you enter a different water body, you can be introducing a new aquatic nuisance species.  Many of the different plant species can expand quickly in a new environment and the next time you return, you may not be able to get your boat through the mat of weeds.  Also species such as zebra mussels can ruin boat engines and jam steering equipment.

Follow these guidelines:

While boating, do not run through aquatic plants.

While on land, but before leaving a body of water:
 > Drain water out of every conceivable item that can hold water:
 > Follow factory guidelines for eliminating water from engines.  All engines hold water, but jet drives on personal watercraft and other boats can hold extra water.
 > Remove the drain plug from boats and put boat on an incline so that all the water drains out.
 > Drain live-wells, bilge and transom wells
 > Empty water out of kayaks, canoes, rafts, etc.

Remove any visible plant, fish, and animal or fragment as well as mud, which can house them.
 > Trailer
 > In and around the boat itself
 > Anchor
 > Props or with jet engines pull plants out of steering nozzle
 > Ropes
 > Boat bumpers
 > Paddles

Clean all parts and equipment that came in contact with the water.
 > Use high-pressure water and/or water above 104° F (40° C) to clean trailers, boats and equipment.  If you do not have access to 104° water, be sure to dry your boat after washing.
 > Clean boat's entire hull.  Feel the hull for rough or gritty surfaces, which could mean that young zebra mussels are present.  Rub down these gritty areas and spray again with hot water.  Dispose of towels in the garbage.

Clean anchors, live wells, buckets and other items that either were in or held water.
Clean with 104 degree F water or the salt or vinegar solution as described in the "General Prevention Procedures for Stopping Aquatic Hitchhikers" article.