July 16, 2008
Clear Your Boat of an Aquatic Threat
Good memories of a water skiing outing or a day of boating on a lake many not be the only thing you bring home with you.
Your boat, boat trailer or even water recreation gear could carry an unnoticed aquatic pest.
When Aquatic Nuisance Species, nonindigenous plant and animal species that threaten native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, attach to a recreational boat in one lake, and gets transported to another body of water, they can pose a serious threat to the natural balance of the new water area.
If you have a small-trailered boat, and have just pulled the boat out of the water but are still at the ramp, you should practice the following cleaning check to make certain your craft doesn't come out of the water with an unwanted guest.
_ Pull all plants or plant fragments off the boat. Check the rollers to make sure there aren't any plants between the boat and the roller or the pads. Make sure your engine doesn't have any plants in the propeller.
_ Empty all water from the boat, the live well, the bilge, and the bait bucket.
_ Dump all unused bait at the fishing site, or give it to someone else who might be fishing.
_ Wash off your boat, ski lines, gear and engine, and scrub with a disposable rag. Leave the rag in the garbage can at the ramp.
SOURCE: Boat Owners Association of the United States; Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force
(c) 2008, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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