Invasive Aquatic plants
Biggest Threats to Alaska's Waterways
If you've spent time fishing, swimming, or boating in the Lower 48, you know that freshwater aquatic invasive plants such as Eurasian Watermillfoil, Didymo, and Giant and Common Reed have caused economic and ecological havoc to many rivers and lakes. Although Alaska seems isolated from the potential damage that these aquatic invasive plants bring, Alaska's rivers and lakes are at a higher risk than ever. Many of these aquatic hitchhikers have already been reported in numerous Alaskan rivers and lakes. But you and your friends and family can help stop the spread of aquatic invasive plants! New USFWS Invasive Species PSA with TV Personality Laura Schara
Prevent the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Plants
Clean. Before leaving a body of water, remove all visible plant, mud, sediment, or critter material from your equipment, boat, floatplane, waders, boots, and other clothing after each excursion. Then wash it clean in the water you are leaving. If possible, wash equipment with hot water or a high-pressure washer when returning home.
Drain. Empty all water from coolers, bilge pumps, buckets, motors, jet drives, seaplane floats and wring out gear before leaving the boat launch or fishing area.
Dry. Thoroughly drying your equipment will kill many invaders that you may have picked up. Completely dry gear between water systems or trips. If possible, allow for 5 days of drying time before entering new waters.
Reminder: Leave your felt-soled wading shoes at home. As of January 1, 2012, footgear with absorbent felt or other fibrous material on the soles are prohibited while sport fishing in the fresh waters of Alaska.
Pickup truck with railer covered in weeds. Photo courtesy of the Oregon State Marine Board: Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program
Don’t Release Non-native Plants:
Aquariums: If your family gets tired of its aquarium or aquatic pets, do not release anything from the aquarium (water, plants, fish or animals) into or near a body of water or storm drain. Explain to your children how you could be hurting all of the streams and lakes around the country and killing other fish and animals that already live in the water.