Follow a general set of procedures every time you come in contact with any body of water. By doing so, you can protect your waters from harmful aquatic hitchhikers. Because you never know where a nuisance species has been introduced, but has yet to be discovered.
There are hundreds of different harmful species ranging from plants, fish, amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks, diseases or pathogens. Some organisms are so small, you may not even realize they are hitching a ride with you. So, it is important to follow this general procedure every time you leave any body of water.
Before leaving any body of water, it is important to examine all your equipment, boats, trailers, clothing, boots, buckets etc., and:
Remove any visible plants, fish or animals.
Remove mud and dirt since it too may contain a hitchhiker.* Remove even plant fragments as they may contain a hitchhiker.*
Do not transport any potential hitchhiker, even back to your home. Remove and leave them at the site you visited.
The larvae (immature form) of an animal can be so tiny that you cannot see it. However, it can live in mud, dirt, sand, and on plant fragments.
Much of the recreational equipment used in water contains many spots where water can collect and potentially harbor these aquatic hitchhikers. Thus, make sure that you:
Eliminate all water from every conceivable item before you leave the area you are visiting.
Remove water from motors, jet drives, live wells, boat hulls, scuba tanks and regulators, boots, waders, bait buckets, seaplane floats, swimming floats.
Once water is eliminated, follow the cleaning instructions listed below.
Basic procedures include:
|Gallons of Water||
Cups of Salt
Also, do not release them into storm drains, because most storm drains lead to water bodies or wetlands. This is an important prevention step because many plants and animals can survive even when they appear to be dead. The two categories below describe some common situations where people may feel compelled to release aquatic plants or animals.
If you cannot find a home for the critters in your aquarium, bury them. Dump the water into the toilet or yard, far away from storm drains.
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