AIS Frequently Asked Questions

AIS Frequently Asked Questions:


Q: As a new boat owner, what do I have to do? A: You will need to read and sign the affirmation when you register your boat. Follow all AIS laws including Clean, Drain, Dry, and dispose of your bait properly when coming off the lake.

Q: What are the laws regarding using a boat in a body of water infested with AIS? A: Take extra precautions when leaving a lake that is infested. It is illegal to transport AIS without a permit. You should: spray your boat with high pressure water, rinse with very hot water, and let it dry for at least 5 days. 

Q: How long do I really need to let my boat sit before I put it in another lake? Can I go between lakes if they are both infested, or both NOT infested? A: Your boat should sit for a minimum of 5 days. You cannot go between two lakes in the same day without going to a decontamination unit in between.

Q: What are the rules about bait? I don’t want to have to throw away all the bait I just bought! A: All bait must be disposed of in the trash when coming off of a lake, unless you replace the bait water with fresh tap water. It is always a good idea to keep fresh tap water with you for this purpose.

Q: What if I can’t get ALL of the water out of my livewell because of the way the drain is positioned? A: You do need to remove as much water from the livewell as possible, by letting it drain. Once it drains as much as it can, you should get a towel and wipe the livewell dry.

Q: What do aquatic invasives even do to the lakes? A: Populations of AIS can rapidly grow and reproduce, and change the habitat of a lake. AIS such as zebra mussels can produce up to one million eggs a year! They filter algae and zooplankton out of the water for food, reducing the amount of food available for native animals, disrupting the food chain from the bottom up. Zebra mussels hurt people as well, damaging boat motors and slicing swimmers feet. Aquatic invasives also have many other unseen effects on our lakes. When plants such as curly leaf pondweed and Eurasian water milfoil grow in thick mats, they can clog waterways. 

Q: Aren’t animals responsible for transporting AIS just as much as humans? A: Many infestations of AIS can be traced back directly to human activity, especially from the release of ballast water in ships in the Great Lakes. Zebra mussels were spread in such a manner.

Q: If I go to a landing with an inspection site, how long will the inspection last? A: Inspections typically last under 3 minutes, unless there is a violation.

Q: What should I do if I have invasives on my boat? A: It is illegal to transport AIS on public roads without a permit. Before leaving the boat access, clean any visible invasives off your boat and drain any water that may be in your boat. You can also go to a decontamination unit and get a courtesy decontamination at no charge, which takes about 10 minutes.

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