Aquatic Invasives threaten the evolved integrity of our waters as well as the quality of our recreational experience. If careful and focused, we can play our part by helping to prevent their spread. Following a few basic "Best Practices" will help us not be the carrier for these aquatic pests. To see the the Clean-Drain-Dry in action, view this video shot at scenic locations along the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail:
Here are guidelines we recommend you follow any time you transition from one water body to another. This is especially important for Northern Forest Canoe Trail section and through paddlers to consider.
It is as simple as Clean, Drain, Dry.
Remove mud, plants, fish, and organisms from your boat. Dispose of them in a proper container or on dry land.
Clean the inside and outside of your boat.
Clean your paddles and any other gear, including your shoes, if they have come in contact with the water.
If a hose is available for use before heading into the next water body, hose your boat and gear down to help be assured they are properly cleaned.
Drain all water from hatches, boat wells, bags, bailers, and containers while still at the river or lake you are leaving.
Avoid using sponges as bailers because it is hard to get all the water out of them between quick (same day) transitions.
Dry your boat and gear. Aquatic Invasives need moisture to survive. If you use a towel, stow it to be cleaned and dried later.
Quick dry towels can be very useful. Make sure that any towel you use to dry your boat and gear is completely dry before using it again on another water body.
If possible alternate two pair of shoes to give footwear time to dry when making quick (same day) transitions. Research available shoes and find types that allow for quick drainage and dry time.
State and federal agencies, organizations, and many volunteers across the Northern Forest work to help keep aquatic invasives from spreading, and to identify waters that contain invasives.
Aquatic Invasives are in water bodies across the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. It is important to follow good protocol when transitioning between water bodies to assure you are not transferring invasives. We work with state and federal agencies to populate an interactive map of all known aquatic invasives sightings along our route to show that invasives are a real concern. Currently our map has information for the Lake Champlain Basin thanks to support from the Lake Champlain Basin Program. This map is not a comprehensive source of locations where aqautic invasives exist.
Remember: Treat all waters as though they are infected and follow the protocol when transitioning!