We’ve examined the vast variety of invasive species that are posing threats to Lake Champlain’s ecosystem. By now you’re wondering , “What can I do to prevent invasive species expansion?”
What Can You Do?
If you are a boat owner, make sure whenever you move your boat from one body of water to the other that it is free of zebra mussels, one of the most dangerous and invasive of all the species. The larval stage of zebra mussels is microscopic in size so you cannot necessarily see them.
- Clean your boat off when it has come in contact with infested bodies of water, and give it a good look over. Throw any zebra mussels you find in the trash.
- Remove all mud, plants, or animals and dispose of on dry land.
- Drain all bilge water, live wells, bait buckets, and all other water from your boat, engine and equipment.
- Wash all parts of your fishing gear and boat that have been in contact with water. Do not allow wash water to flow into any body of water or storm sewer.
Drain all water from the boat, including the bilge, live well, and engine cooling system. Dry the boat and trailer in the sun for at least five days, or if you use your boat sooner, rinse off the boat, trailer, anchor, anchor line, bumpers, engine, etc. with hot water or at a car wash.
- Don’t move fish from one body of water to another.
- Never release unused bait fish, even in waters where using them is allowed.
- Never move fish overland, unless they have been certified as being disease-free.
- Make sure that your boat and equipment are clean and dried before using them in a different waterway.
- Inspect all parts of your fishing gear, boat, and trailer that have been in contact with water.
- Learn more about invasive species. A great resource is the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s Aquatic Invasive Species Guide (free download).
- Purchase non-invasive plants and fish for your landscapes and aquarium.
- Don’t release unwanted plants or animals into the wild.
- When swimming or boating in an area infested with Eurasian water milfoil, try not to break parts off the plant—this is how the plant spreads.
- Participate with these organizations that are active in protecting Lake Champlain. Here are some places to start:
Invasive Aquatic and Wetland Animals (Invasive Species) by Suellen May
Invasive Aquatic and Wetland Plants (Invasive Species) by Suellen May
Invasion Ecology by Julie Lockwood, Martha Hoopes and Michael Marchetti
Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species by Sylvan Ramsey Kaufman and Wallace Kaufman