Ways to Get Involved

Take Action: How can you help stop Aquatic Nuisance Species?

Everyone can help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
. Here are some easy ways in which you can help stop invasive species:

  • REPORT any suspicious species to your state’s natural resource agency or the USGS online reporting form.
  • VOLUNTEER at your local park, refuge, or other wildlife area to help remove invasive species.
  • EDUCATE others about the threat of ANS and how they can help prevent their spread.

BOATERS AND ANGLERS:

You can “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers” by following these tips for preventing the transportation of aquatic invasive species:

  • CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY YOUR BOAT, TRAILER AND GEAR EVERY TIME YOU LEAVE A BODY OF WATER!
  • Inspect and clean off your boat, trailer and gear, removing any visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud
  • Drain all water from watercraft, motor, bilge, bladder tanks, livewell, and portable bait containers before leaving water access.
  • Dry watercraft and gear for five days or more, unless otherwise required by local or state laws, when moving between waters to kill small species not easily seen OR wipe with a towel before reuse.
  • If you are leaving a water body that is known to have zebra mussels, leave your boat and trailer out of the water for at least a week or wash it at a commercial car wash using high-pressure, hot (140 degrees F) soapy water to kill microscopic zebra mussel larvae that may be hitching a ride.
  • Never transport water, animals, or plants from one waterbody to another -- either intentionally or accidentally! Do not release live fish, including bait, into a new body of water.
  • Anglers should be sure to remove material from and wash all fishing tackle, downriggers and lines to prevent spreading small, larval forms of aquatic invaders.
  • Review the Voluntary Guidelines to Prevent the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species:  Recreational Activities

WATERFOWL HUNTERS:

  • Inspect and clean off visible plants, animals and mud from waders, hip boots, watercraft, motor, trailer, ATV’s, push poles, decoys, decoy lines and anchors before leaving area.
  • Brush hunting dogs and rinse kennels with tap water.
  • Drain water from watercraft, motor, bilge and other water containing devices before leaving water access.
  • Dry watercraft and gear for five days or more, unless otherwise required by local or state laws, when moving between waters to kill small species not easily seen OR wipe with a towel before reuse.
  • Use non-felt soled boots to further reduce the risk of spreading AIS.
  • Cut emergent vegetation above waterline for blinds or camouflage in accordance with regulations.
  • Review the Voluntary Guidelines to Prevent the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species:  Recreational Activities

PET AND AQUARIUM OWNERS

  • Buy from reputable dealers, whose non-native pets are properly labeled, legally imported, and not harboring foreign pests and diseases.
  • Don't release aquarium fish, other animals, or plants of any kind into a natural body of water; instead find a new home for unwanted fish and pets such as a pet retailer, animal shelter, or other pet owner.
  • For more information, visit Habitattitude TM or Don’t Let it Loose

WATER GARDENERS