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Clean your boat! Stop invasive species

GRAND ISLE — After a long winter, many anglers and boaters look forward to starting their recreation season on Lake Champlain as early as possible. Unfortunately, aquatic invasive plants and animals, like curly leaf pond weed and zebra mussels, do not take the spring off. Many invasive species overwinter in our lakes and streams and will be growing as soon as the ice is out. If you are boating in April and May please make sure to clean, drain, and dry your boats and trailers and disinfect your fishing gear. All of the Northeast states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Rhode Island) will thank you if you do.

The Northeast states spend millions of dollars each year protecting the ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams that call to you when the spring peepers are singing and the snowdrops are blooming. Together we can keep your favorite fishing hole or aquatic home-away-from-home an enjoyable and relaxing place to be.

“We depend on the people who enjoy the natural beauty of our waterways in Vermont to do their part to ensure they remain healthy. It is a small measure that has a great impact to clean, drain, and dry your watercraft to protect one of our greatest resources” said Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Christopher Herrick.

“Aquatic invasive species are waking up alongside their native counterparts, and we all need to make sure we do not move any plants or animals to ensure we are protecting the natural resources we enjoy,” said Dr. Eric Howe, Director of the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Also, remember that if you are boating in New Hampshire or in Maine with vessels registered in a different state, you must purchase a state-specific out-of-state boater decal to boat on waters in those states. Decals are $20. The New Hampshire decal can be purchased at tinyurl.com/NH-Boat-sticker and the Maine decal can be purchased at tinyurl.com/Maine-boat-sticker.

Please check tinyurl.com/LCB-prevent-invasives for tips on how to clean, drain, and dry.

For further information about aquatic invasive species in Lake Champlain, call Meg Modley, Lake Champlain Basin Program Aquatic Invasive Species Management Coordinator at (802) 372-0216.

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