Boaters and others who use Iowa’s waterways have had to take a little more time this summer to clean their equipment once the fun on the water is done. A new state law designed to help prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals in waterways began on July first. Kim Bogenschutz oversees the Aquatic Invasive Species program for the Iowa D-N-R, and says boaters not only have to drain all the water out of boats, they have to take an extra step.
She says boaters should clean off any plants, mud or other material on rafts or innertubes — anything that has been in contact with the water.
One of the biggest concerns is the zebra mussel.
Bogenschutz says they started trying to make boaters aware of the changes during the Memorial Day weekend and will continue on with those efforts through the summer. She has 20 inspectors in her department and other conservation officers are also working with those who use the lakes and rivers.