When I am not fishing, hunting, going to sport shows or scouting out a new area or lake, I like to review websites posted by the various states. My three favorites are Iowa, as I am a native. I fish and hunt along the Missouri River bottoms. I review South Dakota because I fish the glacial lakes. Nebraska is referenced a lot as I hunt waterfowl, upland game and deer in the state. These are not listed by rating. I like them all equally well. The site I am looking at a lot depends on my interests at the time.

Iowa has an excellent article about aquatic hitchhikers and I always follow their suggestion in keeping my boat and live wells clean. The article below is reprinted from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Website

Zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil are two aquatic invasive species that have spread across Iowa by hitchhiking on boats, in bait buckets and on other equipment used in the water. Bighead and silver carp are two other aquatic invasive species that have been spreading their own throughout Iowa Rivers. With recent flooding, these nuisance species have been able to swim around dams that otherwise blocked their movement.

“Public action is the key to preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species,” said Kim Bogenschutz, DNR aquatic invasive species program coordinator. “Boaters and anglers can unintentionally transport aquatic hitchhikers if they do not take the proper precautions to prevent their spread – inspect, clean, drain.”

Inspect your boat, trailer, and equipment and clean them of any visible plants, animals or mud before leaving a water body.

Drain water from the live well, bilge, transom, motor and bait buckets before leaving a water body.

Clean and dry boats, trailers and equipment. Before transporting to another water body.

Spray/wash your boat, trailer and equipment with high-pressure and/or hot water; or dry your boat and equipment for at least 5 days.

Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Never release plants, fish or animals into a water body unless they came out of that water body.

It is illegal to possess or transport prohibited aquatic invasive species in Iowa. The fine for violating the law is $500. Signs are posted at public accesses to remind boaters to stop aquatic hitchhikers and to identify infested waters. More information about aquatic invasive species and a list of infested waters can be found in the 2010 Iowa Fishing Regulations booklet.

I just got back from a three day fishing adventure. There will be more on that trip next week.

Good fishing, good hunting and good luck. Hank

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