Zebra Mussels, Spiny Waterfleas, and Asian Clams, oh my. While I certainly wouldn’t be able to identify any of these ‘creatures’ even if I was looking right at them, I do know that these are just a few of invasive species that if left on a boat could take over and ruin a lake or other body of water.

You are right that boating season is a little ways off, but the folks at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation want to remind everyone how important it is to do what you can to protect our waterways from invasive species like these and others.

The three key words to remember about your boat is to clean, drain, and dry before entering another body of water. To help make that even easier, free boat washes are offered at select boat launches throughout the state.

Most of the time, you can see if there's any vegetation hanging off of your boat that you need to clean, but according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, you can't see the Zebra Mussels or Asian Clams with the naked eye, so a boat wash with hot water at high pressure can kill most animals and plants on your boat.

They even have special procedures to handle propellers, engines, and other more sensitive surfaces of the watercraft. While this may seem like a bit of a pain, it's all done to make sure that New York waterways stay clean for generations to come.

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