“Invasive species are bad!” What can you do? The key is prevention. Anytime you transport boats (this includes kayaks) or gear from one body of water to the next, be sure it is cleaned, drained of any water and is dry before it goes to the next body of water. Invasive species require damp environment to survive, not necessarily to be in water. The simple version, there should be no plants are animals attached to your boat or gear when you put it in the water. If find an invasive species attached to your boat or anything for that matter, report it: http://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/reporting/
You will find quite the list of invasive species on the Department of Fish and Wildlife page. There are a couple we would like to point out at boaters.
Quagga/Zebra mussels – They look like mini mussels and attach to anything in the water, especially your boat. If you see these, please report them. Also, note there are special steps involved to be sure these guys don’t survive the cleaning process. It doesn’t take long for these guys to take over a lake. We want to keep these out of Washington. If a boat comes in from out of state, pay extra attention!
Invasive Tunicates – This is for our salt water boaters, keep an eye out for these. If they end up on your boat, clean them off and dispose of them in the trash, not the water.
Aquatic Plants – Milfoil is the most common one here. Again, keep an eye out for plants that get caught on your boat or trailer, clean them off and throw them in the trash.
Partners in the fight against invasive species:
The Boat Guy: http://www.theboatguy.com/
Department of Fish and Wildlife: http://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/