Follow these steps every time you come in contact with any body of water. By doing so, you can protect your waters from harmful aquatic hitchhikers.
- Before leaving a launch area, do a full inspection, removing all visible mud, plants, and fish/animals.
- Examine all your gear, boats, trailers, clothing, buckets, etc.
- Remove any visible plants (even plant fragments), fish, or animals.
- Leave any potential hitchhiker at the area you visited.
- Eliminate water from all equipment while at the area you visited.
- Remove the drain plug, and drain bilges and live wells away from the body of water.
- Remove water from motors, jet drives, holds, boat hulls, scuba tanks and regulators, boots, waders, bait buckets, and floats.
- Once water is eliminated, clean all items.
- Clean and dry anything that came in contact with the water.
- Use hot water to clean your boats, motors, trailers, anchors, decoys, floats, and nets.
- Where available, pressure wash the hull, motor, and any gear exposed to the water.
- Be sure to clean the propeller area and bottom of the hull.
- Dry thoroughly. If possible, allow five days of drying time before entering new waters.
- Do not release plants, fish, or animals into a body of water unless they came out of that body of water.
For more information, visit the WDFW Aquatic Invasive Species website.