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DEQ introduces new boating and fishing laws to prevent spread of invasive species

Mark Brush
Michigan Radio

A new set of rules takes effect this week for boaters and fisherman in Michigan.

Beginning Thursday, watercraft users will be required to take steps to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Kevin Walters is an aquatic biologist with the Department of Environmental Quality. He says the DEQ recommends boaters take a 360 degree walk around their boats and trailers to remove anything that’s not supposed to be there.

“If there's weeds stuck on the trailer, or weeds on the motor; if there's mud or debris or wood anywhere lodged on the boat, just remove that stuff before you trailer your boat and move it to another body of water,” Walters said.

Boaters and anglers will also be required to drain all water from bilges, ballast tanks, and live wells.

They will also have to dispose of unwanted or leftover bait in trash cans on shore rather than throwing it overboard.

Boaters can go to the "laws" section at www.michigan.gov/invasives for more information.

Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Public. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
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