The Ontario government is reminding boaters to be mindful of invasive species and to take action to prevent the spread of them with this boater action plan:

1. Clean your boat and gear
Before leaving the water, clean any mud, vegetation, mussels, or anything suspicious from your boat, motor, trailer, or fishing equipment. Zebra and quagga mussels are happy to hang onto your hull, while aquatic plants like Eurasian water-milfoil hide on your motor, anchor, and trailer.

2. Drain before your leave
Drain all standing water by pulling the plug on your transom and live well at the boat launch. Never take an aquatic invasive species from one waterbody to another.

3. Dry or disinfect
Some aquatic invasive species can survive up to 2 weeks out of water, and not every invader attached to your boat can be seen with the naked eye. To remove invaders you can’t see, dry your boat for 2-7 days in sunlight or clean your boat from top to bottom with hot water over 50°C or pressurized water over 250 psi before travelling to a new waterbody.

4. Avoid aquatic plants
Avoid running the engine through aquatic plants. Propellers can break aquatic plants loose and spread invasive species.

5. Never transport or release a prohibited invasive species
It is illegal to possess, transport, deposit or release a prohibited invasive species. If you are boating in a waterbody where European water chestnut or water soldier are found, you must: • avoid boating in the infested area
• take reasonable steps to avoid spreading these plants to another part of the waterbody
• remove the plants from your boat, motor and trailer before travelling over land
• dispose of the plants so they won’t end up back in the waterbody.

6. Report all invaders
Call the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters’ Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 to report an invasive species sighting, or download the EDDMapS Ontario app to report an invader on the spot.

To learn more about how you can stop the invasion, download action plans for Anglers, Hikers, Cottagers and Gardeners. For more information, you can also visit our partner websites: Invading Species Awareness Program, Ontario Invasive Plant Council, Invasive Species Centre, Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations Don’t let invaders aboard your boat. We helped invasive species spread in our lakes, rivers and streams. Now it’s costing us millions in maintenance every year to repair the damage they do.