Decontamination of Field Equipment

April 30, 2018

How can we prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species?

Most of Michigan’s rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, shorelines and wetlands provide hospitable habitat for native and invasive species alike. Aquatic invasive species are costly to control once they’re in a waterbody and have established reproducing populations. Invasive species disrupt food webs, foul infrastructure and recreational equipment, spoil tourism and recreational experiences, devalue waterfront property, create public health hazards, and wreak havoc on water-based businesses.

All types of watercraft are important to decontaminate after leaving a water body including kayaks and canoes.

Clean, Drain and Dry!

Always take these measures before moving to a new body of water:

  • Clean off any visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from all equipment before leaving water access
  • Drain boat motor, bilge, livewell, and other water containing devices before leaving water access
  • Dry everything for five days or more or wipe with a towel before reuse
This fisherman on Gun Lake wipes down his boat before leaving the boat launch to prevent the transfer of invasive species.

Other techniques are available:

To prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, the best defense is a good preventive offense!

For more information, visit or download the decontamination fact sheet