Recreational Boater or Water User
If you are a recreational water user, whether you’re a boater, a swimmer, a shoreline resident, or even a float plane pilot, you may encounter a wide range of invasive species. In lakes and slow-moving streams you may see species such as Brazilian elodea, New Zealand mud snail, nutria, parrotfeather, or saltcedar. In marine environments, you might see tunicates, or the European green crab. These species could hitch a ride in your boat or gear and spread to other waters. Other species that aren’t yet found in Washington's waters include caulerpa, water chestnut and zebra or quagga mussels.
What can you do to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species?
Clean your boat, trailers, and other equipment that entered the water. Specifically, you can:
- Inspect your equipment for mud, plants, fish, and animals, and remove everything you see.
- Drain water from all equipment once you are on dry land.
- Clean your boat and any other equipment that entered the water, and allow them to dry thoroughly before moving them.
- Agree to stop at boat inspection checkpoints in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and other states, You will not be subject to penalties or fines if staff find aquatic invasive species on your boat.
For more information:
- Why should I care about invasive species?
- How to inspect your boat for invasive species
- Detailed scuba gear cleaning practices
- Preventing Accidental Introductions of Freshwater Invasive Species
- Aquatic nuisance species
- Protect your waters and stop aquatic hitchhikers
- Video about invasive species and boaters
- Boat U.S. Foundation’s Invasive species
- 100th Meridian Initiative’s Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers
- And, if you’re an angler, access more specific information here.