Clean, Drain and Dry Watercrafts to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species

Person power washing a boat

You Can Help Manage Aquatic Invasive Species

When you think of invasive species, you might think of that pesky plant in your garden that won’t stop growing. However, aquatic invasive species are also threatening the health of our rivers and lakes.

Invasive species are one of the top threats facing biodiversity and natural systems across the globe–including the Credit River Watershed. Invasive species are non-native species that displace native species, dominate ecosystems and negatively impact ecosystem functions.

There are currently 184 documented invasive species in the Credit River Watershed. Over the past decade, CVC has recorded many species increasing in abundance or range including European reed (phragmites), spongy moth (formally known as LDD) and round goby.

Round goby fish
The round goby is usually three to six inches long but may reach up to 10 inches long.

We can all take steps to prevent the spread of invasive species . Boaters must also follow provincial regulations to prevent the transport of invasive species between waterways on recreational watercrafts. The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry has regulated watercrafts including boats, canoes and kayaks and watercraft equipment as carriers for invasive species under Ontario’s Invasive Species Act.  

In June, we partnered with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) to educate boaters about the new provincial regulation at Clean, Drain, Dry Days at Island Lake Conservation Area. We have already hosted two events and the next Clean, Drain, Dry Day will be on July 23 and then on August 20. Boaters have the opportunity to speak with staff to learn about the regulation and access a free mobile boat washing station to clean their boat before and after entering the water.

Island Lake is already home to a number of introduced aquatic species such as common carp. By actively taking steps to prevent the spread of more aquatic invasive species, we can reduce the impacts of invasives on the habitat, water quality and fish species in the reservoir.

Three people standing under tent with table
CVC and OFAH staff at Island Lake Conservation Area educating watercraft users about aquatic invasive species.

Together, we can keep Island Lake enjoyable for boating and fishing and maintain the vibrant ecosystem. Clean, Drain, Dry Days are a pilot project to inform a more permanent boat washing station at Island Lake. CVC is committed to invasive species prevention and management in the Credit River Watershed. Learn more about CVC’s 10-year plan in the Invasive Species Strategy.

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