Waterways Ontario
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Invasive Species Control
Watch for Hitchhikers

Watch for Hitchhikers


Anytime you put your boat on a trailer to go somewhere else, take a couple of quick steps to keep from spreading invaders from one body of water to another.  Ballast from freighters and imports have brought in species from other continents that can wreak havoc in our lakes and rivers.  Invaders include the round goby – that ugly mug in the picture above – to zebra and quagga mussels, plants such as purple loosestrife and waterweeds – even diseases. VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicaemia) is confirmed in both Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe waters.


Although VHS is not always lethal, it weakens fish, which can die when they are under other stresses, such as spawning or fluctuating water temperatures.  It has killed a lot of fish including walleye, perch, muskie, bass, crappie, sunfish, and emerald shiners.  So it should be kept under control.  


You can keep from spreading VHS and other species by cleaning up before you move on. 

  • Disinfect live wells with a 10:1 water:bleach mixture. 
  • Inspect and thoroughly clean your hull and trailer of any visible hangers-on – weeds, mud and zebra mussels. 
  • Pull the plug and drain all the water from your boat, and motor. 
  • At the ramp, lower your motor so all the water drains. 
  • Dump any minnows and water… don’t carry live bait from one lake to another.
  • It’s also good idea to let your boat and motor dry thoroughly before you relaunch. 


These few steps will go a long way in the protection of our precious WaterWays. 


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