Invasive Species Management
The America Cup is strongly committed to the practice of cleaning gear to maintain clean water. It’s up to each of us to take action to protect our waters from being invaded by an invasive species. The best thing we can do is to make sure that we are as clean as possible when we move between waters.
• CLEAN: Clean your gear with water and a stiff brush, removing any materials. Use the water you've just fished in or a clean water source.
• DRAIN: Drain any standing water from your gear. Use a sponge to get water out of any spaces.
• DRY: When possible, completely dry your gear before you use it again. Sunshine is best; air or a heat-source work, too
The Rising Problem of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS)
As the result of the emerging threat posed to our fisheries by various Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) such as New Zealand mud snails, the whirling disease parasite Myxobolus cerebralis, and Didymo (filamentous algae), many anglers, guides, outfitters, lodge, and fly shop owners have raised concerns regarding the proper care of angling equipment to help prevent the spread of these nasty aquatic hitchhikers.
Inspect, Clean, and Dry all Fishing Equipment
Unfortunately, there is no safe and simple, universal, one-size-fits-all, silver bullet solution for neutralizing these various invasive aquatic flora and fauna, and the chemical solutions that do come the closest to providing this guarantee are extremely harsh on equipment and not safe for the environment. For example, while soaking wading gear in a solution of chlorine bleach and water will kill the whirling disease parasite; repeated use of this mixture will destroy the wading gear. So, what can one do? The most workable solution is to simply inspect, clean, and whenever possible dry your fishing gear when moving between fishing locations, especially when moving from waters where ANS are known to be present.
ANS can hitch a ride in mud, debris, aquatic vegetation, and in water. In the case of boats, make sure all water is drained from boat and live wells. Inspect the boat and rinse the boat and trailer at a car wash or with a garden hose. For waders and angling gear, before you leave the river, rinse off the mud, debris, and vegetation. Inspect waders and boots to make sure nobody is hiding in the crevices and seams. A soft brush kept in the wader bag is useful when cleaning the boot seams. If possible, dry your gear out between trips. If sportsmen perform these relatively simple tasks, they’ll be doing their part to help prevent the spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species.
What about Chemical Treatments?
It is true that various chemical treatments have been identified that will kill some ANS such as Formula 409 for mud snails and chlorine bleach or Sparquat for whirling disease spores. The fact is that these chemicals are harsh on equipment and may be harmful to the aquatic ecosystem. Can you imagine what the fishing access site, nearby riparian zone, and river water might look (and smell) like if everyone that got out of the water doused their gear in bleach and Formula 409? The best approach for the angling and sporting public to help prevent the spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species is to Inspect, Clean, and Dry, simple guidelines of the Federation of Fly Fishers campaign – the Clean Angling Pledge. Federation of Fly Fishers and Trout Unlimited have joined together to request that every angler join in this effort by signing the Clean Angling Pledge which can be viewed and signed online at www.cleanangling.org.
Boat Cleaning for ANS
The America Cup is committed to the practice of cleaning gear to maintain clean water. It’s up to each of us to take action to protect our waters from being invaded by an invasive species. The best thing we can do is to make sure that we are as clean as possible when we move between waters.
The Rising Problem of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS)
Boats and boat trailers can easily transport aquatic hitchhikers in many different ways. When you enter a different water body, you can be introducing a new aquatic nuisance species. Many of the different plant species can expand quickly in a new environment and the next time you return, you may not be able to get your boat through the mat of weeds. Also species such as zebra mussels can ruin boat engines and jam steering equipment.
Follow these guidelines:
While boating, do not run through aquatic plants
While on land, but before leaving a body of water:
Clean all parts and equipment that came in contact with the water.
Use high-pressure water and/or water above 104° F (40° C) to clean trailers, boats and equipment. If you do not have access to 104° water, be sure to dry your boat after washing.
Clean boat’s entire hull. Feel the hull for rough or gritty surfaces, which could mean that young zebra mussels are present. Rub down these gritty areas and spray again with hot water. Dispose of towels in the garbage.
Clean anchors, live wells, buckets and other items that either were in or held water.
Clean with 104 degree F water or the salt or vinegar solution as described in the
"I pledge to clean, drain, and dry my gear after every use"
Invasive species can harm or destroy our native fisheries by:
degrading aquatic habitat, competing for available food, and
stunting or infecting fish.
The Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! campaign is a call to action that empowers recreational users of aquatic resources in the United States and other countries to help stop the spread of harmful aquatic invasive species through outreach and partnerships.
Clean, Drain and Dry Your Boat
Clean, Drain and Dry Your Fishing Boots