Boaters Reminded to Stop Spread of Invasive Species

Port Huron, MI — This week is “Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week” for all the Great Lakes states and bordering Canadian Provinces. According to Kevin Walters, aquatic biologist at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, “Millions of dollars are spent each year in Michigan to control the impacts of aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels, sea lamprey and Eurasian watermilfoil. It only takes a few minutes to do a walk-around of your watercraft and trailer and drain water to make sure everything is clear of material that doesn’t belong.”

Part of the awareness campaign is to remind boaters to clean, drain, and dry watercraft and trailers to prevent the spread of animal and plant species that can cause harm to the Great lakes.

Boaters are asked to make sure all watercraft and trailers are free of aquatic organisms and plants before transporting or launching. They also need to remove drain plugs and drain all water from bilges, ballast tanks, and live wells before moving watercraft. Anglers should release fish only into the same water body where they were caught, and avoid releasing unused bait into the water. Boaters can be fined for failing to adhere to the rules.

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland