Photo credit: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)

Tips for Boaters


Recreational boating is one way that aquatic invasive species (AIS) are spread. Boats, motors, and trailers have ideal hiding spots where species may attach and be transported to new locations. Many of these species can survive out of water five days or more!



Inspect and clean off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from watercraft, motor, trailer, and equipment before leaving water access. Scrub hull using a stiff brush. Rinse watercraft, trailer, and equipment with high pressure hot water when possible. Flush motor according to owner's manual.

Jet boats and personal watercraft users:

Inspect and clean off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from hull, trailer, intake grate, and steering nozzle, etc. Run engine 5-10 seconds to blow out excess water and vegetation from internal drive before leaving water access.


Inspect and clean off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from the centerboard, bilge board wells, rudderpost, trailer, and other equipment before leaving water access.


Drain water from watercraft, motor, bilge, bladder tanks, livewell, and portable bait containers before leaving water access.


Dry everything five days or more, unless otherwise required by local or state laws, when moving between waters to kill small species not easily seen. If drying is not possible, wipe with a towel before reuse.

Information on this page is provided by Pennsylvania Sea Grant

Download the entire "Tips for Boaters" handout here.


The Pennsylvania iMapInvasives Program is a partnership of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, and NatureServe.

Funding for Pennsylvania iMapInvasives is provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

NatureServe logo, iMapInvasives partner
Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, iMapInvasives partner
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative logo, iMapInvasives funding source