Keeping Ahead of Invasive Species

Community Submission

Sail Boats
Boating Photo by Marie Mishenene

When foreign species invade our waters they can rapidly expand their range, eat native species, and compete for food and habitat. They can also introduce and spread disease.

The most effective way to manage invasive species is by prevention and that’s why we are asking you to a play a role  in keeping invasive species away from our waterways and ensuring established invasives are not moved from one lake to another

Boaters should:

  • Clean boats and gear before leaving the water
  • Drain all standing water from boats and live wells
  • Let boats dry in the sun for two to seven days before launching in another waterbody
  • Rinse boats with hot water over 50°C

Anglers should:

– Use bait lawfully; it’s illegal to bring live fish or leeches for use as bait into Ontario from another province or country.

– Use local bait; get your bait as close as possible to where you plan on fishing

– Never dump bait into the water; bait must be disposed of at least 30 metres from shore

– Get a licence from the ministry if transporting live fish; it’s illegal to transport live fish, other than baitfish, taken from Ontario waters without a licence or permit.

Conservation officers also have a big role in protecting Ontario from the threat of invasive species and will be checking bait buckets, boats, and live wells. They will also be inspecting live fish markets, pet stores to look for fish like Asian Carp, and even garden centres to look for fish plants like parrot feather and water soldier.

To report a natural resource violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free anytime, or contact your local MNRF office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).