LINCOLN – Nebraskans can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by cleaning, draining and drying their boats.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Invasive Species Program suggest boaters inspect, clean, drain and dry their craft and equipment before leaving a body of water. That could prevent the invasive hitchhikers from being transported to another body of water.
Aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels cause economic and environmental damage by clinging to and clogging water system pipes and screens and by out-competing fish populations for food.
Follow these guidelines:
Clean – Feel the hull ridges, seams and recessed bolts of the craft. Young mussels may feel like bumps or sandpaper. Check the rear of the craft, including intakes, upper and lower motor areas and propeller. Check trailer rails, lights, wires, pads and license plate. Make sure mud and debris are cleaned off the anchor. If any aquatic invasive species are found, decontaminate the craft before transporting.
Drain – Ensure the craft is drained by removing the bilge plug and activate the bilge pump to show the craft has little or no water. Drain and wipe down any containers with water, such as bait wells, live wells and ballast tanks.
Dry – Allow the craft and equipment to dry completely before the next use.
Visit http://neinvasives.com/ for more information.