Help limit the spread of invasive/exotic (non-native) species!

Digg!

Asian Carp

Non-native species are can threaten or destroy local aquatic ecosystems. Invasive plants, fish, crayfish, snails, mussels, or parasites can destroy existing aquatic communities when they enter a new river or reservoir because they may either overtake local species, or may introduce disease.

Because of today’s globalization, lack of sufficient controls across provincial/state boarders (not to mention between countries), and fishermen (like myself) who travel around looking for new places to fish and new fishing experiences, many of these invaders can unintentionally be transferred from one body of water to the next, so don’t help them get around.

If you need proof of this treat, just consider the huge problem in the U.S. with Asian carp infesting rivers and lakes all the way up the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes.

Single Asian carp found in Chicago-area fish kill

Authorities are trying to keep voracious species from invading Great Lakes.

You can also read more about it by following this link.

Here are some practical tips you can follow to help protect local native species and ensure we continue to have diverse and unique species to enjoy for generations to come.

All Anglers:

  • Never release live bait of any kind into the water.
  • Never move fish or aquatic plants from one body of water to another.

“Bait bucket” introductions have caused the spread of many unwanted fish, mussels, etc. The stocking of even a single fish could accidentally introduce a new disease into a system.

Boaters:

  • Drain all bilge water before leaving the ramp.
  • Inspect your hull and remove any clinging debris, particularly plant material.
  • Clean your boat and other accessories that contact the water with;

1) >140oF (60oC) hot water, or

2) a 10% solution of bleach or saltwater solution (1/2 cup salt to 1 gallon of water).

Do this away from the water so the runoff does not pollute the river and always follow a solution wash with a fresh water rinse, or

3) A pressurized steam cleaning unit.

  • Rinse the bilge, live well system, and bait buckets with a chlorine or salt solution.
  • Dry your boat and trailer for at least a week in hot, dry weather before entering another waterway. Allow additional drying time in cool weather.

Stream Anglers:

  • Always wash your waders and other gear with hot water and allow them to dry completely between trips from one river system to another. This includes allowing the felt soles to dry which may take a day or so.

Follow these precautions especially if you have recently fished waters that differ geographically because there are may be a number of exotic fish or other organisms that if transferred from one location to another could devastate native fish if they were introduced.

Don’t think of it as a chore or a hassle. Remember that what goes around comes around and if you make a good example, others will follow it. If we neglect our natural environments, we risk being able to share the beauty of nature with our kids and grandkids.

Be informed and protect our sport!!

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