Invasive species are threatening BC’s aquatic and riparian ecosystems, such as streams, lakes, and wetlands, and the species that rely on them. They spread alarmingly fast between water bodies and can create lasting ecological and economic damage, especially to the recreational areas that we enjoy.

How do aquatic invasive plants spread?

Water-based recreation activities, like angling, boating, diving, and hunting, can spread aquatic invasive species to new locations. Plants, animals, and microscopic creatures can cling to clothing, equipment, and boats. If our gear, clothing, and boats are not cleaned before entering or leaving an area, these species can be introduced into new bodies of water. In addition, the intentional or accidental release of these species from garden ponds and aquariums is a primary pathway of introduction.

Think ahead when planning an outing on the water. Ask yourself:

  1. When entering and departing the water, is my boat, trailer, and other equipment clean of aquatic debris?
  2. What are the local aquatic invasive plants I should be aware of?
  3. If I spot an aquatic invasive plant, do I know who to alert?

What can we do? Prevention is best!

Overall, being aware of aquatic invasive plants and how to prevent their spread are the most effective actions you can take! Thank you for considering the following prevention steps to protect our waters: 

Water recreation 

Clean, drain and dry all equipment, boats, motor, trailer, bait buckets, and pets of aquatic debris before leaving. Never transport plants, sediment, or live bait among bodies of water. 

Aquariums and water gardens

Check that species are not invasive before acquiring or sharing them. Drain aquarium water on dry land. Never release or flush unwanted aquarium/pond species or water into natural waters, drainage ditches, or sewers.


Dry out, bag and landfill, or incinerate. Control established plants using site- and species- appropriate methods—hand pulling, digging, cutting, and mowing.

Keep an eye open and report these Aquatic Invasive Species: Eurasian Watermilfoil, Parrotfeather, Didymo, Zebra and Quagga Mussels, Common Carp, and Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass.

Report aquatic invasives

Learn more

Learn more about how to protect our waterways from invasive species by reading these publications:

Watch our series of  Clean Drain Dry campaign videos.


The RBC Blue Water Project and the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia are working with stewardship groups and local governments to help protect watersheds across BC. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) have devastating impacts on freshwater environments: often changing species distribution, decreasing oxygen content, lowering water quality and damaging urban water infrastructure. Parrotfeather, Eurasian milfoil, Elodea as well as zebra and quagga mussels are just some of the top AIS that have been seen to substantially impact watersheds. Workshops were held in Victoria and Kamloops in 2016 and were held in the Fraser Valley, Williams Lake…

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