Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
Be a fighter against invasive species!  Clean, drain and dry your boat

Today’s post comes from our friends at the Invasive Species Center.

Ontario is home to wonderful lakes, rivers and streams. Unfortunately, some of these waterways are home to invasive aquatic species such as zebra or quagga mussels.

These species can spread from one body of water to another through vessels that have not been properly cleaned, drained, and dried between uses.

Microscopic forms of these mussels, called veligers, can survive in the stagnant water of a boat for weeks. If this standing water mixes with the water of the body of water you are boating in, that body of water can potentially become infested.

There are four simple steps to help prevent the spread of diseases and aquatic invasive species:


Two boats sitting on the shore

Clean and inspect your boat, trailer and equipment. Remove all mud, sand and plant materials before leaving the shore. Rinse, scrub, or pressure wash your boat, kayak, or canoe away from storm drains, ditches, or waterways.

To drain

On land, before leaving the body of water, drain all water from: bait buckets, ballasts, bilges, refrigerators, internal compartments, livewells and non-motorized boats by inverting or tilting the boat, opening compartments and removing seats if necessary. necessary.


boat on the pier

Dry your boat and equipment completely between trips and allow wet areas of your boat to air dry and leave compartments open and sponge away any standing water.

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Bait responsibly!

Starting January 1, 2022, Ontario implemented baiting rules to protect our lakes and rivers from harmful invasive species. This work includes the establishment of new bait management areas. You are allowed to use bait and leeches inside the area where you are fishing.

If you fish outside the area where you live:

Do not transport bait or leeches between areas!

In some areas of Ontario, live bait of any type may not be used or possessed. To check the rules in your planned fishing area, read the Summary of Ontario Fishing Regulations.

Learn more about these unwanted invasive fish, invertebrates and aquatic plants and how you can help exclude them from Ontario parks and protected areas at the Invasive Species Centre..