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:
- When entering and departing the water, is my boat, trailer, and other equipment clean of aquatic debris?
- What are the local aquatic invasive plants I should be aware of?
- 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:
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.
Learn more about how to protect our waterways from invasive species by reading these publications:
- Aquatics Factsheet: Water-based Recreation
- Aquatics Factsheet: Aquariums and Water Gardens
- Aquatics Factsheet: Zebra and Quagga Mussels
- Best Management Practices for Marinas
Watch our series of Clean Drain Dry campaign videos.