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Aquatic Invasive Species [AIS]

How to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species

  • Inspect your boat, trailer, and equipment and remove any visible plants, animals, or mud before leaving a waterbody.
  • Drain water from your boat, motor, live well and bilge before leaving a waterbody.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Never release fish, animals or plants into a waterbody unless they came from that waterbody.
  • Rinse or dry your boat, trailer, and fishing equipment to remove or kill species that were not visible when you left a waterbody. Before transporting to another waterbody, rinse with high pressure and/or hot (104 degrees) water, or dry for at least five days.
  • Learn to identify aquatic nuisance species and report any suspected sightings to the nearest DNR fisheries station.

invasive zebra mussels


Aquatic Invasive Species Law

  • It is illegal to possess, introduce, purchase, sell, or transport aquatic invasive species in Iowa.
  • It is illegal to transport aquatic plants attached to or within water-related equipment, including boats, trailers, bait containers, live wells, ballast tanks, and bilge areas.
  • All water must be drained from water-related equipment when leaving a water access (this includes live wells and bait buckets). Drain plugs, bailers and valves must remain removed or open during transport.
  • It is illegal to introduce any live fish, except for hooked bait, into public waters.
  • Frequently Asked Questions about the Aquatic Invasive Species Law


Iowa DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Program

  • Vegetation surveys to detect new infestations of aquatic invasive plants.
  • Management of invasive aquatic plant infestations.
  • Statewide watercraft inspections.
  • Zebra mussel dive surveys on infested lakes to study population dynamics.
  • Zebra mussel sampling on interior rivers and lakes to detect infestations.
  • Educational outreach with boaters, schools and user groups.

Other Useful Invasive Species Links


No Hitchhikers


It is illegal to transport aquatic plants & invasive species in boats and equipment.

All water must be drained from boats and equipment before leaving a water access.

Drain plugs must remain open during transport.


Report a Possible AIS
Should you find a possible aquatic invasive species, please report it:

Possible AIS - Reporting
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