How can you help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS)? It's simple - just a few easy steps can make a big difference in keeping our waterways clean and healthy.

Before you leave a body of water, ALWAYS do the following:

REMOVE any mud, plants, fish or animals from your boat, motor, trailer, clothing and equipment.

Mud and plant fragments, like the watermilfoil covering this trailer, can also hide AIS too small to be seen with the naked eye.




DRAIN all water from equipment before leaving.

image of boat bilge pumping out water Boaters should ensure plugs are pulled from bilge and live wells before leaving a waterway.





DRY anything that comes into contact with body of water.

image of angler wiping down boatAll equipment should be wiped and dried thoroughly with quick-dry towel.

If possible, dry everything for five days before entering new waters.




CLEAN other equipment as necessary.

Scuba gear should be rinsed with a 5% salt water solution.

Waders and boots should be scrubbed and rinsed with tap or well water.

If possible, use hot (<40°C or 104°F) or high-pressure water to clean your equipment. Using a car wash for your watercraft and trailer is a great alternative.

Full-strength white vinegar or a solution of ¼ cup bleach per gallon of water can be used to disinfect equipment and confined spaces like live wells.


Unused bait should always be disposed of in the trash.

Drain bait bucket on land.

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


Pat Charlebois
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator

Greg Hitzroth
Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Specialist

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Purdue University
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033
University of Illinois Extensio
Sea Grant
Purdue University