Have you checked your
boat and trailer for
zebra mussels? If you have
used your boat, inflatable or personal
watercraft in infested waters (see map), you
could be carrying zebra mussels.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
TO ZAP THE ZEBRA!
Before leaving infested waters:
• Look for adult zebra mussels on your boat and
trailer. Check all underwater fittings and equipment.
(See diagram below.)
• Remove all visible mussels and plants from your
boat and trailer and put in a trash can.
• Feel your boat’s hull. A rough or gritty surface may
mean that young zebra mussels are present.
• Wipe all gritty areas with a paper towel or
disposable cloth. Better yet, completely wash the hull
on its way out of the water and rub down gritty areas,
or spray with hot water. Put towels in garbage.
• Drain all water from your boat and equipment,
including bilges, live wells, bait buckets, and coolers.
Zebra mussels are bad news
for boaters. They can:
• ruin your engine by blocking the cooling system ––
• increase drag on the bottom of your boat, reducing
speed and wasting fuel.
• jam steering equipment or the centerboard wells
• require scraping and repainting of boat bottoms.
• overwhelm local waters and cover beaches with
thousands of broken shells with sharp edges ––
making these areas unpleasant and smelly!
By taking the steps outlined in this brochure,
you can stop the spread of zebra mussels and nuisance
plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil and hydrilla that
have been introduced to our waters and harm native
plants and animals.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
CALL TOLL FREE 1-877-STOP-ANS (1-877-786-7267)
ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB http://ANSTaskForce.gov
FISH & WILDLIFE
DEPARTMENT OFTHE INTERIOR
rollers axle bilge trailer lights
anchor live wells dock lines
The 100th Meridian Initiative
to prevent the westward spread of zebra mussels
For personal watercraft:
While in shallow water, and with the engine off, remove
any plants from the water-intake area and steering
nozzle. Once the watercraft is on the trailer, run engine
for 5-10 seconds to blow out excess water and plants.
Before leaving area, check again for any plants or
animals and remove.
DEVELOPMENT: BOAT/U.S. Clean Water Trust • DESIGN: ION Media DC • ILLUSTRATION: Steve
Raskin and Rob Myers • PHOTOS: Weeds on Boat Trailer - Ladd Johnson, NOAA/Great Lakes
Environmental Research Laboratory • Crayfish - GLSGN Exotic Species Laboratory, Ontario Ministry
of Natural Resources • Mussels on Engine - Steve Krynock • Cutaway of Pipe - Don Schloesser,
Great Lakes Science Center, National Biological Service • Zebra Mussels with Pencil - Michel
Istaphanous • MAP: U.S. Geological Survey, 1998 • TRAILER DIAGRAM: Minnesota Sea Grant
1999 Printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks
YOU CAN ZAP THE ZEBRA
MUSSEL AND STOP ITS
WESTWARD SPREAD BY NOT
MOVING WATER, PLANTS, OR
ZEBRA MUSSELS FROM ONE
WATERWAY TO ANOTHER.
The primary way zebra mussels will spread
westward is on trailered boats. Whether your boat has
been in infested waters for one day–– or one year––it
could be carrying zebra mussels. A female can release
up to one million eggs each season so transporting
just one zebra mussel can spell trouble for western
waters and your boat!
As a general practice, washing and scrubbing your
boat and its equipment, and allowing it to completely
dry between uses will prevent the spread of zebra
mussels and plants.
The zebra mussel . .
• can grow up to 2" (5 cm) but is ordinarily about as
big as your fingernail. (See photo on back panel.)
• commonly has alternating dark and light stripes.
• produces young that are too small to see but can be
felt on your boat and found in plants that get tangled
on your propeller and trailer.
• as it grows larger, can be seen attached, usually in
clusters, to hard surfaces like water pipes and boats.
• can be found hiding in bilges, live wells and motors.
To prevent further spread of zebra mussels,
a comprehensive prevention partnership called the
”The 100th Meridian Initiative“ including State and
Federal agencies, private industries, and user groups
has been developed. Among other components of the
Initiative, voluntary boat checks are available in the
six States and Manitoba that straddle the 100th
Meridian (100o longitude.) Contact your State
resource agency about the 100th Meridian Initiative
and local efforts to prevent the spread of zebra
mussels by boats.
The zebra mussel . .
• damages boat engines.
• threatens native mussels, fish and wildlife by
consuming available food and smothering native
• costs taxpayers millions of dollars by clogging power
plant and public water intakes and pipes. (See photo
Since their introduction to the Great Lakes in 1986
in ships’ ballast water, zebra mussels have quickly
spread and are now found in at least twenty States and
two Canadian Provinces.
Zebra mussels on trailered boats
Confirmed zebra mussel sighting
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