Boaters and operators of other watercraft in New York State — including the Finger Lakes, of course — are now required to clean and drain their vessels before hitting the water to help stop the spread of invasive species like zebra mussels.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation earlier this month adopted regulations requiring owners to remove visible plant and animal matter from boats, canoes and any other motorized or paddled vessel, before reaching the water. All watercraft owners are also required to clean trailers.
Before launching, boaters are asked to inspect and remove all mud, plants and other organic material, and drain the bilge.
The state has a great step-by-step inspection process here. The steps are check, clean, drain, dry and disinfect.
You can read the new regulations here.
You can learn more about aquatic invasive species in New York State here.
Read some basic questions and answers about aquatic invasive species here to learn more.
Here is the first question and answer:
Q: What is an aquatic invasive species?
A: According to New York State Environmental Conservation Law, an invasive species is a species that is not native to an ecosystem and causes or is likely to cause significant economic or environmental harm, or harm human health. In reality, the species rarely have any human health implications, but do have the potential to outcompete native species and grow or reproduce to nuisance proportions in a body of water. In certain cases, these species may be native to the U.S. or another section of NY, but are not native to the entire state. White perch and alewife are an example of two fish species that are native to the marine and coastal region of NY, but have become problematic when introduced to inland waters. In other cases, invasive species may be introduced from other regions of the world.
Thanks for reading, and remember to check, clean, drain, dry and disinfect!
Thanks for reading,