Decontamination protocols

Clean, Drain, Dry

While “Clean Drain Dry” is an effective method for reducing the risk of transporting AIS, sometimes drying the recommend 6+ days is not an option. Below are protocols for watercraft decontamination options that help reduce the risk of transporting AIS when drying is not practical.


Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers

One of the reasons the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! campaign has been so successful is because of its simple guidance. Almost anyone can clean, drain and then dry their watercraft, and these prevention activities have proven to be one of the most effective methods of reducing the risk of transporting AIS. Visual inspections are very effective at removing aquatic vegetation, while the drying is effective at killing the microscopic organisms left behind by the visual inspection.


Watercraft Decontamination

Unfortunately, drying watercraft for six or more days is not always a feasible option for boaters. In these cases, additional watercraft decontamination steps are encouraged to reduce the risk of spreading AIS. Watercraft decontamination is the process of removing organisms and parts of organisms (e.g. plant fragments, eggs) from the watercraft and trailer. This process, in addition to “Clean Drain Dry,” greatly reduces the risk of transporting AIS.  Decontamination can be accomplished different ways with varying advantages and disadvantages.






Little effort, free, self

6+ days for decon.

Chemical Solution (Bleach, vinegar)

Quick, inexpensive, self

may not treat interior tanks and lines

Hot Water Pressure Wash

No chemicals, quicker than decon unit, self

may not treat interior tanks & lines, lines to use unit

Decon. Unit

Complete decon. in 20-30 min

trained applicator needed, cost, time,  lines to use unit