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Propeller with muscles attachedWild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources: As you prepare your boat or recreational equipment to get back on the water this spring, remember to look for aquatic hitchhikers. Zebra mussels, aquatic plants like Eurasian watermilfoil or starry stonewort, and many other invasive species continue to be a threat to Indiana’s waters by degrading fish habitat and negatively affecting recreational boating and fishing. The most common locations where plants, mussels, and animals hitch a ride include:

  • Transom well near the drain plug
  • Axle of the trailer
  • Lower unit and propeller on the boat motor
  • The rollers and bunks that guide the boat onto the trailer
  • Anchor and lines
  • Bait bucket and live well

Boat owners are asked to drain water from bait buckets, live wells, and boats before leaving the boat landing; leave drain plugs out while travelling on land; clean and dry anything that came in contact with water; and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Learn more about aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their movement.

Learn how to stop aquatic hitchhikers.

Find more information about  aquatic invasive plants and aquatic invasive invertebrates. Subscribe and receive the Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Resources:
Invasive plants: Impact on Environment and People, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)
Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes: The Quagga Mussel, Purdue Extension – FNR
Lampreys, Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Animal Informational Series
Aquatic Invaders in the Marketplace, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Great Lakes Sea Grant Network (GLERL), NOAA – Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
A Field Guide to Fish Invaders of the Great Lake Regions, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Purdue Researchers Get to the Bottom of Another Quagga Mussel Impact, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Protect Your Waters, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service & U.S. Coast Guard
Nongame and Endangered Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


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