Preventing Invasive Species in Alaska’s Streams and Rivers
With just three simple steps before your Alaska fishing trip you can help keep our rivers and streams pristine. Of course, preventing invasive species is good practice for any traveling fishing trip. Along with a switch from felt to rubber soled boots you still need to “Inspect, Clean, and Dry” your gear after each trip.
Inspect Your Gear
Before you leave the site of your fishing trip inspect your wading boots, waders, even your rods and reels. Remove all mud, vegetation, and creatures that may have attached themselves. Don’t forget to check the seams, gravel guards and the inside of your boots and insoles. Rinse off all your gear with water. By doing this before you leave the water you are leaving invasive species where you found them.
Clean Your Gear
In a safe area, where your rinse water won’t flow into a body of water, separate boots, laces, insoles, gravel guards, and waders. Thoroughly clean all crevices with a brush and water. Make sure to remove all debris. Heat and cold can kill many invasive species. Soak gear in the hottest water available, research shows 140˚F for 15 minutes is necessary to kill any Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). Cold can also kill some but not all AIS. Store your gear in a freezer over night and then remove and thaw. This a great option when on a traveling fishing trip.
Do not use chemicals such as bleach or 409 to clean your gear. These are damaging to waders and boots and also toxic to wildlife.
Dry Your Gear
After cleaning, dry your gear in hot dry conditions, preferably in the sun. If air drying allow for at least 7 days, some AIS in optimum conditions can live 10 days out of water.
To learn more about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species or take the Clean Angler Pledge visit http://www.stopans.org/.
by Guide, Brandon Burrough