Earth Day and What You Can Do To Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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:
  3. Clean and dry anything that came in contact with the water (boats, trailers, equipment, dogs, boots, clothing, etc.). Basic procedures include:
  4. 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 animals.
Gallons of Water Cups of Salt
5 2/3
10 1
25 3
50 6 1/4
100 12 2/3

Posted with permission from Ron Urban