Earth Day and What
You Can Do To Stop
There are hundreds of different harmful species
ranging from plants, fish, amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks,
diseases or pathogens. Some organisms are so small, you may not
even realize they are hitching a ride with you. So, it is
important to follow this general procedure every time you leave
any body of water.
- Remove all visible mud,
plants, fish/animals. Before leaving any body of water,
it is important to examine all your equipment, boats,
trailers, clothing, boots, buckets etc.
- Remove any visible plants, fish or
- Remove any mud and dirt since it
too may contain a hitchhiker.
- Remove any plant fragments as they
may contain a hitchhiker.
- Do not transport any potential
hitch hiker, even back to your home. Remove them
and leave them at the site you visited.
- Eliminate water from all equipment
before transporting anywhere.
Much of the recreational equipment used in water contains
many spots where water can collect and potentially harbor
these aquatic hitchhikers. Thus, make sure that you:
- Eliminate all water from every
conceivable item before you leave the area you
- Remove water from motors, jet
drives, live wells, boat hulls, scuba tanks and
regulators, boots, waders, bait buckets, seaplane
floats, swimming floats.
- Once water is eliminated, follow
the cleaning instructions listed below..
- Clean and dry anything
that came in contact with the water (boats, trailers,
equipment, dogs, boots, clothing, etc.). Basic procedures
- Use hot (< 40° C or 140° F)
or salt water to clean your equipment.
- Wash your dog with water as warm
as possible and brush its coat.
- The following recipes are
recommended for cleaning hard-to-treat equipment
that cannot be exposed to hot water:
- Dipping equipment into
100% vinegar for 20 minutes will kill
harmful aquatic hitchhiker species.
- A 1 % table salt solution
for 24 hours can replace the vinegar dip.
(See the table below which provides
correct mixtures for the 1 % salt
solution in water.)
- If hot water is not available, spray
equipment such as boats, motors, trailers,
anchors, decoys, floats, nets, with
- DRY Equipment. If possible,
allow for 5 days of drying time before entering
- Do not release or put plants, fish
or animals into a body of water unless they came
out of that body of water.
Also, do not release them into storm drains, because most
storm drains lead to water bodies or wetlands. This is an
important prevention step because many plants and animals
can survive even when they appear to be dead.. The two
categories below describe some common situations where
people may feel compelled to release aquatic plants or
- Aquarium and Aquatic Pets:
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
If you cannot find a home for the critters in you
aquarium, bury them. Dump the water into the
toilet or yard, far away from storm drains.
- Bait: Whether you have
obtained bait at a store or from another body of
water, do not release unused bait into the waters
you are fishing. If you do not plan to use the
bait in the future, dump the bait in a trashcan
or on the land, far enough away from the water
that it cannot impact this resource. Also, be
aware of any bait regulations, because in some
waters, it is illegal to use live bait.
|Gallons of Water
Posted with permission from Ron Urban