LINCOLN – Boaters enjoying some of Nebraska’s major public waters may be contacted by boat inspectors this summer. Inspections will reduce the risk of aquatic invasive species (AIS) being spread across the state.
Inspections will include a brief examination of the watercraft and a survey of boat operators about their recent boating activities. Participants also will be provided information on ways to prevent the spread of AIS. Inspection and survey results will be used to determine if a risk of spreading an invasive species exists.
Regulations state that boaters are not allowed to launch or leave a boat ramp facility with any water unless it is from a domestic water source. In addition, boaters are required to drain all lake or river water from the watercraft and remove any vegetation or mud from the boat and trailer before leaving a boat ramp.
It is recommended that boaters follow the following Clean, Drain and Dry protocol after boating and before launching your boat in a different water body to prevent the spread of AIS:
— Rinse the boat and all equipment with hot tap water, ideally more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, to kill zebra and quagga mussels. Vinegar also can be used to kill young zebra and quagga mussels, especially in live wells.
— Spray the boat, live well, engine and trailer with a high-pressure sprayer.
— Pull the plugs from bilge, live wells and engine to drain upon leaving a water body. Trim the motor up and down to facilitate the draining of water.
— If washing the boat away from the water body you are leaving, do not allow runoff to enter a drainage.
— Dry the boat and all equipment for at least five days. Use a towel to speed up the drying process, especially in the live well.
The education and compliance by recreational water users is necessary to eliminate the movement of AIS in Nebraska. For more information on all invasive species, visit neinvasives.gov.