Aquatic invasive species (AIS) threaten Montana’s waterways and fisheries. AIS are plants, animals and pathogens that are not native to Montana and cause harm to Montana’s native plants, animals and fish. AIS populations can reproduce quickly and spread rapidly because there are no natural predators or competitors to keep them in check.
Anglers can help prevent the spread of AIS by following these 3 simple steps:
Clean. After you’re done fishing and before you leave the boat ramp or access area, inspect your boat, trailer, and fishing gear and completely remove all plants, animals, mud, and standing water. Pay close attention to crevices and hidden areas. Clean your fishing nets and waders. Felt soled waders stay wet longer and can trap micro-organism that can be transported to other waterbodies. Consider using slip-resistant alternatives to felt-soled wading boots.
Drain. Drain or remove water from your boat, bilge, pipes, live-wells, engine, internal compartments, and bait buckets. Remove the drain plugs. Keep in mind that some organisms are microscopic for at least part of their developing lives. Standing water is particularly worrisome as microscopic AIS can survive in standing water for up to 30 days.
Dry. Aquatic invaders can only survive in water and wet areas. Drying your watercraft and waders thoroughly, if given enough time, will kill AIS and preserve the health of Montana’s lakes and rivers. Putting waders in a freezer for 24 hours can also kill any lingering AIS.
For more information on aquatic invasive species or to find the locations of watercraft inspection stations, visit CleanDrainDryMT.com or call 406-444-2440.