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Clean Drain Dry!

You can do your part in the effort to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic animals and plants. Aquatic invasive species have a negative impact on native wildlife and plant species, the economy, and recreation, and can even impact human health and safety. Moving people and boats from waterbody to waterbody can inadvertently transport invasive species, including plants, fish, and mussels, into new areas.

But by following the “Clean Drain Dry” guidance each time you leave the water, you can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and protect the environment.


When leaving a waterbody, it is required that all aquatic vegetation be removed from the vessel, trailer, and equipment.


Water drain plugs from bilges must be removed when leaving a waterbody


Boat operators should take reasonable measures to dry livewells, baitwells, and ballast tanks

New regulations require you to remove or open your bilge plug and to remove vegetation from your vessel, trailer, and equipment before you leave the launch site.

Virginia trout anglers should note that didymo, an invasive single-celled algae, is firmly established in three tailwater fisheries, including the Jackson, Smith, and Pound rivers. If you are fishing one of these tailwaters, consider using rubber-soled wading shoes instead of felt-soled wading shoes. To prevent the spread of didymo, make sure to remove any algae strands from your equipment and clean all gear for at least one minute in a 2% solution of household bleach. This poster provides more information about preventing the spread of didymo.