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Invasive Aquatic Plants and Animals

Michigan waters are threatened by non-native, invasive, aquatic plants and animals such as zebra mussels, round goby, sea lamprey, Eurasian ruffe, Eurasian watermilfoil, rusty crayfish, spiny water fleas, and hydrilla. These species and others are harmful to recreational boating and can cause extensive economic and natural resource damage.

Boaters should learn to identify non-native species that they may encounter and take precautions to prevent the spread of these species.

  • Remove all visible aquatic plants and animals from your boat, motor, trailer, and accessory equipment before leaving the access area.
  • Dispose of live bait and aquatic animals in the trash. Do not release live bait into the water.
  • Drain live wells and all water from boats before leaving the access area.
  • Do not transfer fish between
    bodies of water.
  • Power-wash boats and trailers before leaving the access area whenever possible, or at a car wash or home.
  • Allow boats to dry for at least 5 days before launching into a different body of water.
  • Disinfect livewells and bilges with bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons water).

For more tips, information, or to report an invasive species, visit

To prevent spreading aquatic nuisance species, inspect your trailer and remove any plants and animals you see before leaving the area.