How Aquatic Species Invade

Invasive species are transported between water bodies in several ways:

How Aquatic Species Invade
  • Boat traffic and boat trailers: plant fragments stuck to boats and watercraft, wrapped around motors, trailers and fishing gear and microscopic animal larvae in bilge water can move AIS between water bodies
  • Bait or bait buckets: If released into the water, animals used as live bait or accidentally caught in bait buckets can become invasive species
  • Aquarium and water garden disposal: pets and plants that are dumped from aquariums or water gardens into natural water bodies may end up taking over their new environments
  • Planting: Individuals planting aquatic plants along their property may introduce an invasive species to that water body
  • Wildlife: plant fragments or seeds snagged on waterfowl or mammals can spread invasives throughout the ecosystem
  • Rivers: streams flowing out of infested lakes can spread AIS downstream throughout the watershed

Preventing the Spread of AIS

Humans are the primary reason for the rapid spread of AIS; it is important that everyone does their part to prevent the further introduction and spread of invasive species.

Steps YOU can take to prevent the spread of AIS:

Preventing the Spread of AIS
  • Know your surroundings. Be aware of which lakes, ponds and rivers are known to be infested with invasive species; Click here for the RI AIS distribution map
  • Recognize the usual suspects. Learn to identify common aquatic invasive species in RI; Click here for a guide to identifying common aquatic invasive species
  • Inspect and clean. Examine your boat and trailer before and after any use. Carefully remove any mud, plant or animal material before transporting your boat, gear and equipment.
  • Allow time to dry. Clean and dry anything that came in contact with the water (boat, trailers, recreational equipment, clothing, dogs, etc.)
  • Isolate and drain. Empty water from boat wells and motors far away from lakes and rivers.
  • Discard into trash. Dispose any unused bait into proper garbage receptacles; do not empty bait buckets into the water.
  • Prevent releases. Avoid disposing plants, fish or animals from aquariums or water gardens into local water bodies.