June 10, 2014

New rules fight invasives

ALBANY — New regulations require boaters to remove all visible plant and animal materials from boats, trailers and associated equipment. 

And they must drain boats before launching from State Department of Conservation lands. 

The DEC rules, now in effect, are part of an aggressive effort to prevent invasive species from entering and damaging New York water bodies, the agency said in a press release. 

They pertain to all DEC boat launches, fishing access sites and other state lands where watercraft such as boats, kayak or canoes can be launched into the water.

“New York state continues to work with its state, local, federal and environmental partners to protect water bodies from destructive invasive species,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in the release.

“Boats, trailers and associated equipment are common pathways for spreading aquatic invasive species.

“These new regulations will help reinforce the message that boaters need to clean their equipment of any clinging plant and animal materials and drain their boats prior to launching at lands administered by DEC.”

Boaters should take the following steps to ensure they are following the new rules:

• Visually inspect the boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment, and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. 

• Dispose of materials in one of the Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations installed at many DEC boat launches, in the trash or at an upland location away from the launch ramp.

• Drain the boat’s bilge and any other water-holding compartments, such as live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks. (Water associated with sanitary systems or drinking-water supplies are not included).

Drying boats is also highly recommended but is not required under the new regulations. 

Boaters who are unable to dry their boats between uses should flush the bilge and other water-holding compartments with water, preferably at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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