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Clean off invasive species from your outdoor gear - Tips for anglers
Photo credit: © Renald Bourque/Flickr

Tips for Anglers


Recreational fishing provides both economic and social benefits to Pennsylvania. It is important that anglers take action to remove any "hitchhikers" from their equipment, boots, nets, clothing, and other gear that touched the water while fishing so that aquatic invasive species (AIS) are not spread to new locations.


Inspect and clean off plants, animals, and mud from gear and equipment including waders, footwear, ropes, anchors, bait traps, downrigger cables, dip nets, fishing lines, and field gear before leaving water access. Scrub off any visible material on footwear with a stiff brush.


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


Dispose of unwanted bait, fish parts, and packing materials in the trash. Do not dump them in the water or on land.


Dry everything for 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.

In Addition...

In addition to the steps above, anglers should:

  • Use non-felt soled boots instead of felt-soled footwear to further reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species.

  • Never release live fish, plants, or other organisms into a body of water unless they came from that body of water. Fish caught for eating or taxidermy should be cleaned away from the water and placed on ice.

  • Dispose of unwanted bait, fish parts, worms, and packing material in the trash; do not dump them in the water or on land.

Information on this page is provided by Pennsylvania Sea Grant

Download the entire "Tips for Anglers" handout here.

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