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Stopping the Spread of Invasive Species in Maryland Waters

Hi, I’m Mark Lewandowski, Biologist for
DNR’s Resource Assessment Service. We’re here today to show boaters how to minimize
the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species. By following a few simple steps, you can do
your part and help to preserve Maryland’s natural resources for future generations. A bit of mud, a droplet of water, or a tiny
plant fragment is all it takes to spread harmful plants and animals. To minimize that risk, we’re asking all
residents and visitors to thoroughly inspect and clean vessels, trailers, and gear after
each use. For trailers, this includes the bunks, wheel
wells, wiring, and lights. For boats you will need to check all surfaces,
the engine, the prop and the anchor. For personal watercraft and jet boats, you
will need to check the water intake and nozzle assembly as well. Deposit any foreign materials in a dedicated
waste station or trash receptacle. Drain water from boat, motor, bilge, live
wells and bait containers before leaving the launch and always leave boat plugs out while
traveling. Wash live wells with a mild bleach solution,
to kill plant fragments, fish eggs and microscopic animals that could have been pumped into the
boat. If you know the water body you are leaving
has zebra or quagga mussels, please take your boat to a car wash, and use high pressure
and preferably hot water to clean the hull, engine and trailer. If possible, allow your boat to dry for five
days or more before launching in another water body. Also be sure to clean your fishing gear, tackle
and other recreational gear. Always dispose of worms, unwanted baitfish
and fish parts in the trash.  Releasing live baitfish could promote the spread of disease. Taking just a few minutes after each trip
can help prevent lasting damage to Maryland’s beautiful waterways. Spread the word, not aquatic hitchhikers. Thanks very much for your help!

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