View DEC's new Guide to Water Gardening in New York for recommended water garden species and tips on avoiding invasive species.
Clean, Drain, and Dry Your Boat and Gear
Anglers and boaters can take actions to help stop the spread of invasive species. While there is no single preventative action that can remove all invasive plants, animals, or diseases from your boat or fishing gear, following recommended guidelines such as properly cleaning, draining, and drying your boat and gear will lessen the likelihood of spreading invasive plants, animals, and diseases as you fish or boat.
Don't Dump Aquariums
Aquatic invasive species can be spread to waterbodies via aquarium release or escape. Aquarium species such as koi, goldfish, and red-eared slider turtles sometimes lack predators in the wild and are able to grow and reproduce rapidly. Invasive plants such as Brazilian elodea, fanwort, and hydrilla are often sold as oxygenators for aquariums. If they aren't disposed of properly, these plants can become harmful invasive species that damage the ecosystem and clog up waterways. See our Guidelines for Aquarium and Pet Owners webpage to learn how to responsibly own and dispose of aquarium species.
Don't Dump Bait
See our webpage on responsible use of baitfish to learn about NYS regulations. Some native fish in New York have evolved without many competitive fish species. When introduced to a new environment, baitfish can outcompete native fish and become invasive. They can also spread disease to native fish.
Properly Dispose of Invasives Plant Material
When removing invasive plants, it is crucial that you take proper precautions and understand their life cycle. Improper disposal can allow invasive plants to regrow or be transported to previously uncontaminated areas. Many invasive plants can reproduce from very small pieces. See our Guidelines for Disposing of Invasive Plant Material (PDF) to help limit the spread of invasive plants.
Plant Native Water Gardens
If you have a water garden, it's important to use non-invasive and/or native species. The plants and animals in your water garden can spread, even if your garden isn't near other waterbodies. Find out more about beautiful and unique native and non-invasive species that can be used for your water garden in our Guide to Water Gardening in New York (PDF).
Protecting the Adirondacks
Since March 2015, NYS has had an agreement to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in the Adirondacks with 50 conservation groups, owners associations, local and state governments. The signed Memo of Understanding (PDF) helps to preserve clean water, increase recreation opportunities, and promote tourism in New York.
Resources for Boat Launch Owners
DEC encourages private marina operators, lake associations, and others with boat launch facilities to use the resources below to inform visitors of the threat of aquatic invasive species and how they can help to stop their spread. Outreach and education are the most important tools to combat the spread of invasive species. The more people aware of the necessity to clean and dry boating and fishing equipment, the less likely aquatic invasive species spread to new waters. By working together, we can help ensure that the lakes and rivers we all enjoy are protected from the impacts of invasive plant and animal species.
Building and Installing a Disposal Station
Invasive species disposal stations can be installed at boat launches and fishing access sites for anglers and boaters to dispose of invasive species clinging to their fishing and boating equipment. The stations also serve as a notice encouraging users to carefully inspect their equipment and remove and properly dispose of any invasives they find.
Boat Launch Sign
This sign can be posted at all access points to inform boaters on how to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. The file can be downloaded and printed for indoor applications or taken to a sign shop for mounting on weather resistant materials.