To help reduce accidental ANS introductions, in December 2000 the Coast Guard published its Voluntary Guidelines on Recreational Activities to Control the Spread of Zebra Mussels and Other Aquatic Nuisance Species, 65 FR 82447-82451. The guidelines are based on the recommendations presented to the Coast Guard by the Recreational Activities Committee of the ANS Task Force, as required by the National Invasive Species Act of 1996.
These guidelines provide specific steps that can be taken to prevent or minimize the transport of ANS through recreational activities. The activities addressed in the guidelines include SCUBA, waterfowl hunting, recreational angler bait harvest, boating, and the operation of seaplanes and personal watercraft.
In addition to the guidelines, educational information is available through your local Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Some guidelines are appropriate for any recreational activity associated with water. The generic preventive guidelines listed below apply to most recreational activities occurring in marine and inland waters. In addition to these guidelines, States and provinces may include specific laws and guidelines for their areas.
Always inspect equipment (in the broadest sense, e.g., boats, planes, trailers, decoy anchors, SCUBA gear, and lures) for visible plants and animals before transporting.
Always remove visible mud, plants and animals from equipment (expel plants, animals, and water from internal parts).
Always drain water from equipment before transporting.
Always clean equipment that has been in infested waters before placing it in other waters (see the ``Pathway-specific guidelines'' section for specific methods).
Always report questionable species to your resource agency for identification. Information is available from many sources about identification of ANS; however, specimens are needed to confirm sightings. Many jurisdictions have different rules regarding possession and transport.
Always ask your local natural resources management agency for
Transporting plants, animals, mud, or water to or from lakes, rivers, wetlands, and coastal waters.
Releasing animals or plants (e.g., aquarium species, bait, or water garden plants) into the wild unless you release them into the same waterbody or location where the species came from.
Environmental Standards Division (CG-OES-3)
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
2100 Second Street SW
Washington, DC 20593