Exotic Species and the Boater
You and your family may not be alone on your boat. Exotic species such as zebra mussels and eurasian watermilfoil may be riding along with you, ready to get off at your next stop. Boaters to the Rideau should be aware of problem species that they could be bringing into the Rideau or, taking out of the Rideau, and back to the next lake or river that you boat on.
Some species such as the zebra mussel, eurasian watermilfoil and gypsy moth can hop a ride on boats and trailers. Others such as the Round Goby, White Perch, Ruffe, Spiny Water Flea or zebra mussel larvae could be hitching a ride in a baitbucket or livewell.
The checklist below, if followed by all boaters, will help slow down the spread of these exotic invaders.
Clean boats, clean waters...
If you are a water recreationalist boater, angler, water-skier,
scuba-diver, sailor, or canoeist there are some important things you
can do to prevent the transport fo harmful exotic species from one lake
or river to another. In some states and provinces it is illegal to
transport harmful exotic species.
Inspect your boat, trailer, and boating
equipment (anchors, centerboards, rollers, axles) and remove any plants
and animals that are visible before leaving any waterbody.
Drain water from the motor,
livewell, blige, and transom wells while on land before
bucket on land before leaving the waterbody. Never release live
bait into a waterbody, or release aquatic animals from one water
body into another.
boat, tackle, downriggers, trailer, and other boating equipment to kill
harmful species that were not visible at the boat launch. This can be
done on your way home or once you have returned home. Some aquatic
nuisance species can survive more than 2 weeks out of the water, so it is
these organisms look like (at least those you can
see). If you suspect a new infestation of an exotic plant or animal
report it to your natural resource agency.
- rinse your boat and equipment that normally get wet with
HOT (at least 40oC or 104oF) tap
- spray your boat and trailer with high-pressure water; or
- dry your boat and equipment for at least 5 days, before
transporting to another waterbody.
Consult your natural resource agency for
recommendations and permits before you try
to control or eradicate an exotic "pest." Remember, exotic "pest" species
thrive on disturbance. Do-it-yourself control treatments often make
matters worse and can harm native species.