Aquatic Invasive Species

zebra mussel appears in Lake Superior as shiny shell on lake bottom
Boaters must decontaminate their vessels before entering park waters to help diminish the spread of invasive species.

NPS / Paul Brown

Imagine your favorite fishing spot and the wonderful memories. Things may look fine but underneath the surface there is a serious threat. Everything you remembered is now cemented together in a sharp, smelly mess. Invaders have wiped out the fish species you used to catch.

Aquatic invasive species are not native to an ecosystem. Their introduction causes, or is likely to cause, harm to the economy, the environment, or to human health. Aquatic invasive species are a growing risk to parks and their values. In the United States alone, there are more than 250 non-native aquatic species.

For many centuries, humans have contributed to spreading non-native species around the globe. You can make a difference. To learn more about Aquatic Invasive Species in the National Park Service, visit the Fish & Fishing website.

How You Can Help – Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers

Visitor Responsibilities


Vessel owners are legally responsible for Aquatic Invasive Species decontamination prior to entering park waters (extending 4.5 miles from Isle Royale and the outer islands). This applies to all vessels (power and sailboats, canoes, kayaks, etc.) regardless of size or configuration.

Please take the following steps to prevent the transport of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species to Isle Royale waters.

Before Traveling to Isle Royale

Boaters

Drain live wells and bilge on land - remove transom water, lake water, and unwanted bait from your boat. Wash your boat, including bilge and equipment with either: a) hot (greater than 104 degrees F) water, b) high pressure water, c) disinfectant OR clean and dry your boat and equipment in the sun for five days. Rainy days do not count.

Canoeists and Kayakers

Remove weeds, algae, and other plant and animal materials from your boat. Wash your boat and equipment with either: a) hot water (greater than 104 degrees F), b) high pressure water, c) disinfectant OR clean and dry your boat and equipment in the sun for five days. Rainy days do not count.

Anglers

Clean fishing gear before island departure.

Divers

Wash all dive gear in warm chlorinated tap water. Disinfect your wetsuit with a special-purpose shampoo. Dry all dive gear and wetsuit for seven days before island departure.

While on Isle Royale

Canoeists & Kayakers

Wipe down your boat and associated gear before moving from Lake Superior to inland waters.

Anglers

When moving from Lake Superior to inland waters, clean gear and change line spools.

 

Last updated: March 26, 2021

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Houghton, MI 49931

Phone:

(906) 482-0984

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