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Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week kicks off

Public awareness is critical to protect Michigan’s ecosystem and waterways.
Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week highlights critical ways to protect ecosystems and...
Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week highlights critical ways to protect ecosystems and waterways.(WTOK)
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 8:04 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Now through July 4, more than 54 boat landing events are planned across the state to mark this year’s Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week.

Public awareness about the impacts of harmful, non-native aquatic plants and animals is critical to protecting Michigan’s ecosystems and waterways.

Michigan law requires that a person remove all aquatic plants from watercraft, watercraft equipment, and trailers before placing these into Michigan waters.

Prior to transporting any watercraft over land, boaters must do all of the following:

  • Remove all drain plugs from bilges, ballast tanks, and live wells.
  • Drain all water from any live wells and bilges.
    • This means that after trailering boats, and before getting on the road, boaters must pull plugs, drain water, and remove plants and debris.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash, not in the water.
  • Ensure that the watercraft, trailer, and any conveyance used to transport the watercraft or trailer are free of aquatic organisms, including plants.
  • And, as always, get rid of materials in a trash can or otherwise away from the water.

Violation of the law is a state civil infraction and violators may be subject to fines up to $100.

Common aquatic invasive species in Michigan include sea lampreys and zebra mussels. These are harmful to the environment and can be spread by boaters who do not clean, drain, and dry their boats before moving them to another location.

A full list of species profiles and reporting information of birds, crustaceans, fish, insects, mammals, mollusks, and plants can be found HERE.

A printable guide can be found HERE.

Sea lampreys can be found in Lake Erie (Source: Great Lakes Fishery Commission)
Sea lampreys can be found in Lake Erie (Source: Great Lakes Fishery Commission)

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