Boating and Aquatic Invasive Species

An invasive-free boating industry: aquatic invasive species in BC and beyond.
aquatic invasive species - zebra mussel

How Boat Owners Can Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

By Sue Staniforth (ISCBC)

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native plants, fish, and mollusks that negatively impact the environment, economy and society. AIS are known to easily and rapidly establish and reproduce, causing widespread impacts and costing millions of dollars per year in control efforts. Once an AIS becomes established, it is very difficult and sometimes impossible to get rid of. Prevention and early detection are critical! Humans are a primary pathway for the introduction of invasive species – often through recreational activities such as boating, fishing and gardening.  The boating industry is an essential partner in preventing the spread of AIS and protecting B.C.’s unique freshwater ecosystems.

Checklist of Best Practices for Boating Industry

Boating industry staff, volunteers and clients should incorporate best practices to prevent and control aquatic invasive species into all plans and operations where boats and/or equipment will be moved from one body of water to another.

Do your part to help protect BC’s precious aquatic ecosystems, recreation opportunities and boating industry!preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species

  • Take extra care to Clean, Drain, Dry.
  • Remember to pull the plug!
  • Wash the exterior and interior of the boat.
  • Always ask if arriving boats have been inspected by a BC Provincial Mussel Inspection Team.
  • New boats also need inspecting! Many are tested in a lake or pond.
  • If a boat has not gone through a provincial inspection:
    • Determine if it has come from an area where zebra and quagga mussels are present.
    • If a boat is coming from a high risk region, call the BC provincial government RAPP line: 1-877-952-7277. Note: there is no charge for decontamination.
    • If you are bringing a boat to BC from an infested region, fill out the Out of Province Watercraft Form and follow instructions.

Please Note: Paddle Boards & Canoes can also be involved in helping spread aquatic invasive species.

For more information on aquatic invasive species affecting British Columbian waterways please visit: Invasive Species Council of BC.


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