Aquatic Invasive Species
What are aquatic invasive species?
Aquatic Invasive Species...
Are non-native plants, animals, and pathogens
Live primarily in water
Thrive in a new environment
Cause economic loss, environmental damage, and harm to human health
Why should I care?
Aquatic invasive species infestations result in a variety of economic and environmental impacts. They can:
Displace, foul and outcompete native species
Disrupt entire food webs and decrease native biodiversity
Bio-accumulate environmental contaminants and spread toxic algal blooms
Attach to and damage infrastructure, boats, and water conveyance structures
Clog intake structures and impede the flow of water to municipal water supplies, irrigation operations, and power plants
Cause long-term taste and odor problems in drinking water
Make shoreline areas hazardous and uninviting for recreational users and property owners
In Washington, it is against the law to transport aquatic weeds, zebra mussels, or other aquatic invasive species.
How do aquatic invasive species enter our lakes and streams?
They are accidentally or deliberately released by individuals
They attach to boat hulls, motors, trailers and recreational equipment
They attach to float planes
They can be found in bilge tanks, live wells, and engine cooling water
They attach to field gear
They are released from aquariums or bait being emptied
They can be transferred by waterfowl and other animals
Species of Concern
What can I do to help?
When boating on Lake Whatcom remember to get your boat inspected and permitted prior to launching and clean, drain, and dry before launching and before leaving.
Clean - Remove all aquatic plants, animals, and mud and thoroughly wash everything
Drain - Drain all water from your boat, trailer, tackle and gear before leaving the area, including wells, bilge, and engine cooling water
Dry - Allow sufficient time for your boat to completely dry before launching in other waters
Do not release pets, aquatic plants, or aquarium water into the wild.