Clean, Drain, Dry… In every waterbody, every
Preventing the spread of aquatic
invasive species starts with you. A cooperative effort is necessary
by all persons and agencies involved with recreational activities to
achieve the best results and protect our aquatic resources and
The general Clean Drain Dry procedure is
described below; however, keep scrolling down the page for
information pertaining to specific recreational activities.
visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from all equipment before
leaving water access
Rinse equipment and boat hulls (with high
pressure, hot water when possible)
Rinse interior compartments of boats with
low pressure, hot water (120°F)
Flush motor with hot water (120°F) for 2
minutes (or according to owner’s manual)
bilge, livewell, and other water containing devices before leaving
for at least five days OR wipe with a towel before reuse.
For ANGLERS, the additional step of DISPOSE is
of unwanted bait, worms, and fish parts in the trash. When
keeping live bait, drain bait container and replace with spring or
dechlorinated tap water. Never dump live fish or other organisms
from one water body into another.
Together the three steps of Clean Drain Dry
greatly minimizes the risk of spreading Aquatic Hitchhikers into new
Cleaning will remove visible large-bodied
organisms attached to or in watercraft or recreational
equipment. Rinsing with water removes organisms, while hot water
often kills them. Water at least 120°F is recommended;
be sure to avoid contact with skin and check manufacturers’
recommendations to ensure equipment can withstand high
temperatures. If hot water is not available or may cause damage,
rinsing with tap water and completely drying will help prevent
spread of aquatic invasive species.
Draining removes small and nearly
invisible organisms such as zebra mussel larvae (veligers)
potentially entrained in water containing devices.
Drying is necessary as many organisms can
survive in standing water.
A note about chemicals. The use of chemical prophylactics or disinfectants (e.g.,
bleach) are not recommended for treating watercraft and recreational
equipment. Chemicals may:
Damage equipment or components
Cause environmental damage
Harm human health
May not be effective against many aquatic
Report new sightings. If
you think you have found an invasive species, note its exact
location and, if possible, take a photo. Report new sightings to the
appropriate authorities or use the
USGS Sighting Report Form.
Know the rules!
Specimens are needed to confirm sightings, but some jurisdictions
prohibit possession and transport of invasive aquatic plants and
animals. Before collecting specimens, contact your local natural
resource management agency for instructions. Unauthorized
introduction of plants, fish, or invertebrates into the wild is
illegal in most states. Protect your property and our waters.