I can’t get all the water out of my live well or bilge. Does that matter?
Do the best you can by removing drain plugs, running pumps and using towels.
I don’t see any mussel shells attached to my boat. Why worry about water in the boat?
Certain life stages of zebra mussels (veligers) and other aquatic invasive species can be very small and difficult or impossible to see. Additionally, diseases such as VHS can be transferred and spread through bilge and livewell water.
Do I have to clean my jet ski or kayak?
Yes. Any equipment or watercraft that comes in contact with the water can potentially spread invasive species. See the above answer regarding zebra mussels and diseases.
Isn’t the spread of aquatic invasive species inevitable? Why is the state wasting resources?
There are still many water bodies that do not have aquatic invasive species. Even if we can’t keep all invasive species out completely we can still prevent a lot of widespread damage. The longer we can keep invasive species out of a lake, the longer we put off the enormous costs of management, control and property devaluation.
What is going on with Asian carp?
Michigan is working with regional partners on short-term control measures to prevent the introduction of invasive carp. Additionally, Michigan supports hydrologic separation in the Chicago Area Waterway System. Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division continues to conduct early detection surveillance through the use of environmental DNA and training exercises to increase overall preparedness and effectiveness of a response. To learn more about the Asian carp visit the State of Michigan Asian carp website.
Aren’t stocked coho salmon and chinook salmon non-native? Isn’t the state intentionally introducing those invasive species?
Invasive species are defined as non-native species that cause harm. In general, most people don’t think that stocked non-native salmon are causing harm. In fact, they are beneficial for the economy in many ways.
I am not a scientist. How am I supposed to know how to identify invasive species?
It is more important to simply “Clean, Drain, Dry” your boat and equipment remove all animal or plant matter, regardless of whether it is an invasive plant or native plant. Proper identification is not necessary for this type of prevention. If you would like to learn more about invasive species, identification, and reporting check out the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) website.
Where can I report sightings of aquatic invasive species?
You can report sightings at www.michigan.gov/invasives by clicking the blue “Species Profiles and Reporting Information” button or via the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) website.
What are the legal requirements for boaters related to aquatic invasive species?
Michigan law requires all of the following prior to transporting any watercraft over land:
- Removing all drain plugs from bilges, ballast tanks, and live wells.
- Draining all water from any live wells and bilges.
- Ensuring that the watercraft, trailer, and any conveyance used to transport the watercraft or trailer are free of aquatic organisms, including plants.
This means that after trailering boats, and before getting on the road, boaters must pull plugs, drain water and remove plants and debris.
What are the legal requirements for anglers related to aquatic invasive species?
A person shall not release baitfish in any waters of this state. A person who collects fish shall not use the fish as bait or cut bait except in the inland lake, stream, or Great Lake where the fish was caught, or in a connecting waterway of the inland lake, stream, or Great Lake where the fish was caught if the fish could freely move between the original location of capture and the location of release.
A person, who catches fish other than baitfish in a lake, stream, Great Lake, or connecting waterway shall only release the fish in the lake, stream, or Great Lake where the fish was caught, or in a connecting waterway of the lake, stream, or Great Lake where the fish was caught if the fish could freely move between the original location of capture and the location of release.
Whether purchased or collected, unused baitfish should be disposed of on land or in the trash – never in the water. Any baitfish an angler collects may be used only in the waters where it was originally collected.
Anglers who are catching and releasing fish should only release the fish back into the same water or in a connecting body of water the fish could have reached on its own.