Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation

Help Stop the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species & Fish Diseases

Fish diseases such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) and invasive species such as the zebra mussel and Eurasian water milfoil can be spread through the use of boating and fishing equipment that has not been properly cleaned, dried or disinfected prior to its use in another waterbody. Help stop the spread of these noxious species and diseases by adhering to the following simple guidelines. Effective June 4, 2014, you are now required to remove all visible plant and animal material from your boat, trailer and associated equipment and drain your boat’s bilge, livewell, baitwell, and other water holding compartments when launching or leaving DEC boat launch facilities.

INSPECT your boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment, and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Never release plants, fish or animals into a body of water, unless they came out of that body of water.

DRAIN AND DRY everything that came into contact with water. Many aquatic invasive species and fish diseases are microscopic and can be transported in as little as a drop of water. Dry boats for at least 5 days and other equipment for at least 48 hrs before use in another waterbody. Difficult-to-dry gear may require even longer drying times. Recommended drying times for each month of the year can be calculated at Be sure to completely drain your boat, including baitwells and livewells.

DISINFECT the boat’s bilge, water holding compartments and equipment if you cannot dry it prior to use in another waterbody. Effective disinfectants include water at least 140° F (hot tap water is usually 120°–130°F), steam, or 2% bleach solution (3 ounces of household bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water). Maintain a contact time of 30 seconds if using hot water and 10 minutes if using a bleach solution. If you cannot disinfect your boat or equipment, flush it thoroughly (particularly the boat’s bilge, livewells and baitwells) with water at a location that does not drain into the water body you will be boating on.

For more information
For more information on aquatic invasive species and preventing their spread go to:,

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the home page
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The New York Department of Environmental Conservation allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with New York Department of Environmental Conservation Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
J.F. Griffin reaches 20 million sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 47 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 22 state agencies.
For advertising information, please visit: