Rodeo Rick Learns About Aquatic Invasive Species
Last summer I purchased a boat to get out and go fishing on our wonderful Wyoming lakes across the state. I've owned boats before but it's been about 10 years and over the weekend I went through an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) check point.
My boat passed the AIS inspection and after talking with the game and fish biologist, I learned that keeping these invasive species out of Wyoming waters is imperative to the aquatic heath of our states waters.
Aquatic invasive species (sometimes called exotic, invasive, non-indigenous or non-native) are aquatic organisms that invade ecosystems beyond their natural, historic range. Their presence may harm the native ecosystems or effect commercial, agricultural, or recreational activities dependent on these ecosystems. They may even harm our health.
People are responsible for helping spread these species for centuries either intentionally or unintentionally. Intentional introductions - involve the deliberate transfer of nuisance species into a new environment. An example of this would be someone who dumps the contents of their home aquarium into a lake. Unintentional introductions - occur when invasive species are transferred accidentally. For instance, zebra mussels can actually attach to boats and equipment and travel thousands of miles to new water.
Aquatic Diseases and invasive mussel larvae are microscopic and can be transported in water stored in boats or gear.
DRAIN, CLEAN, DRY - Every time you leave a water!
Drain all water from your gear and equipment. This includes all water craft, waders, boots, clothing , buckets, anything that comes into contact with the water. Leave any wet compartments open to dry.
Clean all plants, mud and debris from gear and equipment. Never move a plant or animal from one location to another.
Dry everything thoroughly. In Wyoming, Game and Fish biologists recommend drying your gear and watercraft for 5 days in the summer, 18 days in the spring or fall or 3 days of freezing to kill any unwanted hitchhikers.
Above all try to be a good observer! If you see any suspicious plant or animal on any of your equipment, or notice something while you are out enjoying Wyoming's outdoors that you think might be invasive, please contact Wyoming Game and Fish department at - reportAID@wyo.gov or call 1-877-WGFD-AIS
To learn more: CLICK HERE