• Jen Haynes

Protect Our Waters

The sun sparkling off the water, a warm breeze, cool water, the sound of birds and the smell of fall. We have so many stunning lakes, rivers and creeks in the Boundary. It is important to protect these beautiful places from invasive species. Invasive aquatic plants, invasive fish and invasive mussels are some examples of what we do not want spreading in our water. There are some invasive plants and fish in our waters but most of our lakes, creeks, and rivers do not have invasive species in them. You can help protect our waters and prevent the spread by practicing “Clean Drain Dry”. Clean any visible debris especially mud and plant fragments off any equipment that enters the water. It only takes a piece of Eurasian milfoil the size of a postage stamp to start a new infestation. Drain all the water from your bilge, ballast, bait buckets, and anywhere else that there is standing water. Dry all items before launching them into another body of water. Never transport live fish to introduce them to a new body of water. It is illegal as well as very irresponsible. You should decontaminate waders and fishing gear to prevent the spread of whirling disease and other fish diseases as well as preventing the spread of didymo. You can decontaminate your gear by soaking it in vinegar for 4 hours. It best to use the vinegar that is 5% acetic acid by volume. As well as soaking it in vinegar you should also soak it for 10 minutes in a 10% bleach solution (10 L of water to 1 L of bleach. Other options are soaking it in a salt water solution (10 L of water to 1/3 cup of salt) for 24 hours, freezing it until solid or drying it for over 48 hours. Try to avoid going into more than one water body a day but if you are going to more than one water body in the same day you can use the bleach solution in a spray bottle to wipe down your boat and be sure to clean, drain and dry it off as best as you can before you launch into the next water body. If you see a watercraft inspection station and you have any kind of watercraft with you including everything from paddle boards to canoes to motor boats you must stop. Enjoy your time on the water and please take the extra couple of minutes to protect our waters. For information on invasive species please contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society at 250-446-2232, www.boundaryinvasives.com, info@boundaryinvasives.com and on Facebook.