The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has new laws in place for boaters in an attempt to protect Iowa lakes and streams.
According to the Iowa DNR, it is currently illegal to possess or carry certain aquatic invasive species in Iowa, and beginning July 1, 2013 it will be illegal to carry any aquatic plants on water-related equipment.
Boaters will have to drain all water from boats and equipment before they leave a water body. Drain plugs will have to be opened or removed during transport.
Other than hooked bait, it is illegal to introduce any live fish into public waters.
To avoid spreading aquatic invasive species, the Iowa DNR is reminding boaters and anglers to “Clean, Drain, and Dry” boats and equipment. Species like zebra mussels, and Eurasian watermilfoil have spread across Iowa via boat, bait bucket, and other water equipment.
DNR employees will be doing inspections at public access ramps in Iowa throughout the summer.
To help prevent spreading harmful species-
- Clean watercrafts and equipment before leaving a body of water.
- Drain water from all equipment including motor, live well, bilge, transom well, and bait bucket before leaving a body of water.
- Dry anything that comes into contact with water, such as boats, trailers, boots, clothing, or pets, before leaving a water body.
- Spray your boat and trailer with hot, high-pressure water or dry them for at least five days.
- Never release plants, fish, or animals into a body of water unless they came out of that specific location. Also, empty any unwanted bait into the trash.