Stop Aquatic Invasive Species

Inspection points on boats for AIS
Inspection points on boats, trailers, and vehicles for aquatic invasive species decontamination.

Boaters and anglers are a major source of aquatic invasive species introduction in Michigan. Do your part to prevent their spread by cleaning, draining, drying and disposing every time you leave the water.

  • CLEAN boats, trailers and equipment and remove all mud, debris and aquatic plant material from trailers and watercraft before launching or retrieving a watercraft. Use a hose or power washer when available.
  • DRAIN live wells, bilges, ballast tanks, and all water from boats before leaving the access site. Consider disinfecting live wells and bilges with a bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water) when possible. Fish diseases and microscopic life stages of aquatic invasive species can be hiding in seemingly clean water, so draining is an important step.
  • DRY all boats and equipment thoroughly before leaving an access area and prior to relaunching in a new waterbody.
  • DISPOSE of bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water. Release of bait and minnows can lead to the unintended introduction of diseases and aquatic invasive species.
  • DO NOT TRANSFER FISH to water bodies other than where they were caught. This helps prevent the spread of both aquatic invasive species and fish diseases.

It’s the law

  • DO NOT launch or transport watercraft or trailers unless they are free of aquatic organisms, including plants.
  • DO NOT transport a watercraft without removing all drain plugs and draining all water from bilges, ballast tanks, and live wells.
  • DO NOT release bait into the water.

Violation of the law is a state civil infraction. Violators may be subject to fines. Learn more on the State of Michigan aquatic invasive species website.


Paddlers, join the MI Paddle Stewards program!

mi paddle stewards logoBecome an ally in the fight against aquatic invasive species with the MI Paddle Stewards online program from Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension. The program explores aquatic invasive species threatening Michigan’s waterways, how to properly clean watercraft to prevent their spread, and how to report invasive species using the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network mobile phone app. Become a MI Paddle Stewards ambassador in five short sessions. To learn more about the course visit the MI Paddle Stewards website.