Spread Prevention

There are many ongoing programs in Vermont aimed at curbing the spread of invasive species and preventing new infestations. These initiatives are supported by Vermont DEC and often involve participation from landowners, watershed associations, and other interested volunteers.

Public Access Greeter Program

Vermont's public access greeter program has been in place since 2002, and has resulted in over 100,000 watercraft inspections, hundreds of intercepts of invasive species, and has also educated countless boaters on the threats of AIS.

Vermont Invasive Patrollers

The Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIPs) are a dedicated group of volunteers that scour Vermont's lakes, rivers, and ponds for new infestations of invasive plants. 

Woman using high-power water spray to decontaminate her motorboatWatercraft Decontamination

Decontamination of watercraft to prevent the overland transport of aquatic invasives is considered to be a very effective spread prevention tool. Beginning in 2016, several watercraft decontamination stations will be operated by the Lake Champlain Basin Program, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and local public access greeters around the state. Courtesy decontaminations will be offered to those boaters looking to ensure that they are not carrying aquatic hitchhikers on their watercraft.

Cooperative Boat Wash ProgramCar and trailered boat being washed in self-service car wash

In addition to the dedicated boat wash stations, boaters on and around Lake Champlain can also have their watercraft washed at one of the many carwashes in the Champlain basin that participate in our Cooperative Boat Wash Program.  The program is designed to help boaters find local car wash stations that are suitable for pressure washing boats, trailers and other equipment. Watercraft and equipment should always be cleaned after use to avoid involuntary transport of invasive plants and animals!

Photo of AIS sign at boat ramp - sign has Clean Boats, Clean waters InformationAquatic Invasive Species Signage

Vermont DEC installs signs at public access areas that inform boaters of the steps they should take to avoid moving nuisance species and alert users of any present infestations of invasive pests. Signs are updated annually as needed so that the public is kept current on new infestations and new threats. If you think there is an access in your area that needs signage, please contact Kim Jensen with the Aquatic Invasive Species Management Bulletin board containing information on Cleaning, draining, and drying your kayak and a poster declaring that Spiny Waterflea has invadedsection (Kimberly.Jensen@vermont.gov, 802-490-6120).AIS Warning Sign - included information about invasives and how to prevent spread

You can help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.

  • Contact the Watershed Management Division immediately if you think you have found a new occurrence of an aquatic invasive species.
  • Join the VIPs! Vermont Invasive Patrollers help search for new infestations so we can respond immediately and prevent them from becoming established.
  • Start a public access greeter program to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
  • Learn to identify aquatic invasive species. Know which water bodies are infested. Review identification and distribution information on this website. 
  • Spread the word, not aquatic species! Public participation is essential to the success of AIS spread prevention efforts.

Before moving boats between waterbodies:Stop aquatic hitchhikers logo and link to protect your waters dot net

  • CLEAN off any mud, plants, and animals from boat, trailer, motor and other equipment. Discard removed material in a trash receptacle or on high, dry ground where there is no danger of them washing into any water body.
  • DRAIN all water from boat, boat engine, and other equipment away from the water.
  • DRY anything that comes into contact with the water.  Drying boat, trailer and equipment in the sun for at least five days is recommended if rinsing your boat, trailer parts and other equipment with hot, high pressure water is not an option.


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