Aquatic Invasive Species

Why is it important to get educated about Aquatic Invasive Species? For many reasons and here are a few good ones:

  • Reduce game fish populations
  • Ruin boat engines and jam steering equipment
  • Make lakes/rivers unusable by boaters and swimmers
  • Dramatically increase the operating costs of drinking water plants, power plants, dam maintenance, and industrial processes
  • Reduce native species
  • Degrade ecosystems
  • Affect human health
  • Reduce property values
  • Affect local economies of water-dependent communities.

How can these species (as shown to the left) have negative impact on our waterways?

Eurasian Watermilfoil ability to reproduce from fragments and spread rapidly in a range of temperatures and environmental conditions. Its tendency to reach the surface and form extensive plant matter, which then can allow it to shade and out compete native vegetation. This heavy plant matter makes it incapable to swim, boat or fish and is known to ruin water dependent economies and raise taxes for treatment. No more fishing or taking a swim in the Okobojis with out being wrapped around this weed!

Zebra Mussels these razor like shells rapidly attach to docks, boats, shoreline or anything that is in the water. They can easily cut the skin with their defensive shell and also clog drinking water plants, dams, and industries in their effect of increasing costs for the operation & the consumer. They are also known to ruin water dependent economies and raise taxes for treatment. Forget about climbing up the dock after a Boji swim with these dangerous shells cutting up your skin when ever you touch them!

Asian Carp after introduction, became very abundant, and hurt native fishes either by damaging habitats or by consuming vast amounts of food. In addition, boaters have been injured by silver carp because they commonly jump out of the water and into or over boats in response to outboard motors.The Asian Carp can easily reach the weight of 90 lbs! They are also known to ruin water dependent economies and raise taxes for treatment. How would you like to be hit by one of those while taking your cruise around Lake Okoboji?

So as you can see it’s very important to start to recognize what these species are and how to treat your boat when you leave any body of water. Plus it’s against Iowa law to transport any of these invasive species.
What can I do?

Remove any visible mud, plants, fish or animals before transporting equipment and eliminate water from equipment before transporting.

Clean and dry anything that came in contact with water (Boats, trailers, equipment, clothing, dogs, etc.)

Never release plants, fish or animals into a body of water unless they came out of that body of water.

Please immediately report any boat & trailers that looks like they are transporting invasive species to local police or DNR departments.

How do I clean my boat, trailer and equipment?

Use hot (40° C or 104° F) any high presser car wash will do! Or you can make up a mixture of salt water to clean your equipment.

Wash your dog with water as warm as possible and brush its coat.

The following recipes are recommended for cleaning hard-to-treat equipment that cannot be exposed to hot water:

Dipping equipment into 100% vinegar for 20 minutes will kill harmful aquatic hitchhiker species.

A 1 % table salt solution for 24 hours can replace the vinegar dip. This table provides correct mixtures for the 1 % salt solution in water:

5 2/3
10 1 1/4
25 3
50 6 1/4
100 12 2/3

If hot water is not available, spray equipment such as boats, motors, trailers, anchors, decoys, floats, nets, with high-pressure water at your local car wash. Please make sure the water you cleaned your equipment off does not drain back into any natural bodies of water.

DRY Equipment. If possible, allow for 5 days of drying time before entering new waters.

Please visit Iowa DNR or for more information on invasive species.