The summer boating season is coming to an end.
As recreational boaters decide it’s time to bring their boats to shore and store them for the winter, there’s a lot more to consider than where you will winter your water craft.
Hundreds of invasive species have infiltrated Ontario’s lakes, rivers, and forests putting native fish, plants, and animals, and their habitats at risk.
This includes waterways near New Tecumseth and over to Lake Simcoe.
Responsible boaters are encourage to follow some guidelines to help avoid spreading invasive species to different regions around the province.
A prime example of an invasive marine species in Ontario are zebra mussels.
Thought to have been brought over from Europe in the ballast of ocean going ships traversing the St. Lawrence Seaway, the mussels were first detected in Lake St. Clair in 1988.
Since then they have spread to the Great Lakes and were found in Lake Simcoe in 1994.
The spread to Lake Simcoe is thought to be cause by recreational boaters trailering their vessels to the region after having been launched in an affected area.
The mussels have caused billions of dollars in damage in the Great Lakes and neighbouring waterways. W
hen it’s time to bring your boat out of the water, there are precautions you should take to help stop the spread of invasive species. F
irst, once you have your craft out of the water, clean all aquatic plants, and mud from the boat, the motor, and the trailer.
Drain all standing water from your boat’s transom, live wells, and motor intakes. If you are planning to take you boat to another body of water, you can remove invaders you can’t see by drying your boat for at least five sunny days.
This will kill any unseen species that may be hiding. You can clean your boat with hot water – over 50 C, - or use pressurized water at over 250 PSI, to thoroughly clean the boat.
By taking these precautions, you can help stop transferring invasive species to other bodies of water in the province.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times