Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stop the Alien Invasion!

Stop the Alien Invasion!

Many of us enjoy a day on the water. We may be there for a refreshing swim, take our jetski out for a fun filled spin on the lake or even go out to sea in our watercraft. Bodies of water have a specific environment and ecosystem that is easily disturbed. In certain areas there is aquatic species that are kept under control in their native environment but when introduced into another environment wreak havoc. Cross contamination can be fatal for a lake’s biodiversity.

Each city has a recommendation to prevent the introduction of invasive species. NOAA provides a general set of procedures: Drain, Clean and Dry.

• Drain every conceivable space or item that can hold water.
• Follow factory guidelines for eliminating water from engines.
• Always drain the bilges of the boat by removing the drain plug. Bilge pumps are not capable of removing all water from the boat hull.
• Drain live-wells, bilge, ballast tanks, and transom wells.
• Empty water out of kayaks, canoes, rafts, etc.
• Remove any visible plant or plant fragments, as well as mud or other debris. Plant material, mud, and other debris routinely contain other organisms that may be an invasive species.
• Check trailer, including axle and wheel areas, in and around the boat itself: anchor, props and jet engines, ropes, boat bumpers, paddles.
• Clean all parts and equipment that came in contact with water using one or more of the methods listed below.
• Allow everything to completely dry before launching into new waters; five days in warm, dry weather and up to 30 days in cool, moist weather. Calculate local dry time at:
• If sufficient drying time is not available, decontaminate all surfaces using one or more of the cleaning methods described below. Carefully inspect for invasive organisms before entering a new water body.

In order to continue to enjoy the lakes and streams in their best condition we need to be proactive and responsible. Plan ahead for time to follow these easy steps and we will all enjoy the biodiversity of the aquatic life we currently have.

Matthew Hamilton

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