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When wading into new situations always remember to clean, drain and dry. Aquatic Invasive species can harm habitats and important infrastructure within our waterways, resulting in poor conditions for recreational fishing, as well as leading to harmful impacts on the economy and even human health. Though most people associate boats with the transportation of aquatic invasive species, wade anglers also need to ensure that these invasive plants, animals and pathogens are not catching a ride on their gear. Following the simple steps of clean, drain and dry is the best way to prevent further spread in our incredible Montana waters.
· Clean – Make sure to brush off all your gear, waders and boots when still at the water. Clear them of any mud, debris and plant life material. Remember to also check any grooves, cracks and even the inside of your waders and boots. If you have any bait to discard, throw it away in the trash, never empty it in the water or onto the shore.
· Drain – Check to make sure there is no standing water in your gear. Also never transport water, fish, animals or plants from one water to another.
· Dry – Make sure all equipment is dry to the touch after exiting the water, especially if traveling to multiple locations in a trip. If possible, use different waders for different bodies of water.
For more information on clean, drain and dry and other helpful tips on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species please visit: https://fwp.mt.gov/ais.