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Invasive Species and Fish Diseases

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Anglers and Boaters:Help Stop the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species and 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.


1. 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.


2. 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 equipment for at least 48 hrs before using it in another waterbody. Difficult to dry gear may require even longer drying times. Be sure to completely drain your boat, including baitwells and livewells.


3. DISINFECT equipment if you cannot, or do not have the time to dry it before using it in another waterbody. Effective disinfectants include water over 140° F (hotter than most hot tap water), 2% bleach solution (3 ounces of household bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water), or household cleansers such as Fantastik®, Formula 409®, or Spray Nine® that contain the ingredient alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride. For all materials, follow label instructions and be sure to soak equipment for a minimum of 10 minutes. Dispose of all cleaning/disinfectant solutions away from surface waters in accordance with label
restrictions. For additional information, contact your local DEC office or go to:



For more information on aquatic invasive species and preventing their spread, request this brochure from your local DEC office or go to:

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