What Wakeboarders Should Know About Invasive Species Prevention

wakesurfingAnyone who operates a boat and enjoys water sports should know about the risk of invasive species. As your boat moves through the water, it also moves small sea animals and bacteria from one area to another. This is generally how invasive species travel. If you are one of the 12.7 million households that own a boat, use this guide to understand just how critical you are in preventing the spread of invasive marine species.

What Is The Impact Of Invasive Species?
When invasive species populate a new area, they can have major negative effects on the existing ecosystem. These new strangers can decrease native fish and marine life populations and destroy critical elements of the environment. By extension, this damage can also impact human health and the health of the adjacent land areas. Many state and local governments have specific laws in place to prevent the spread of these organisms, but it is also up to the boating population to play their part.

What Can I Practice Invasive Species Prevention?

  • Clean Your Boat: After every boating trip, remove all plant life and mussels from your motor and boat surface. Spray your boat with a high pressure hose to remove any lingering algae and other substances.
  • Install A Filter: An eco-conscious invasive species filter is critical for any boat. By having this system in place, you can remove hidden species from your boat and prevent yourself from carrying them around the water.
  • Prep Between Boat Trips: If you are planning to enter a certain body of water for the first time, be sure to thoroughly wash your boat and let it dry for five days. This will ensure that you are not taking any water from one lake and putting it into another.
  • Inspect Your Sporting Equipment: Wakesurfing and water skiing enthusiasts should also wash their sport equipment in addition to the boat. Your wakeboarding boat and ropes are just as likely to attract species as any other part of your boat, so take care to sanitize these.

Whether you enjoy wakesurfing, fishing, or simply cruising along the lake, you have a critical role in keeping invasive species at bay. Ask your local water authorities about specific recommendations and regulations they have for protecting state waters.