Understanding Aquatic Hitchhikers
Aquatic nuisance species
includes both plants and animals such as zebra mussels,
exotic milfoil and fish. They can easily be transported
to new waters by boats, motors, trailers, fishing
equipment, livewells, bait buckets, diving gear, and
other aquatic recreational equipment. They can also
be put into our waters by individuals who are not
aware of the environmental and economic damages these
nuisance plants and animals can cause.
quality of New Hampshire 's waters are extremely
valuable both as a natural and economic resource.
In addition to providing essential aquatic habitat,
New Hampshire 's waters annually provide 14.7 million
visitor days for boating, fishing, and swimming,
which are popular family-oriented recreational activities
that generate more than $1 billion to the State's
economy each year. Your help is needed to protect
What You Can Do to Protect New Hampshire Waters
is the Key. Preventing the spread of aquatic
nuisance species is the most environmentally sound
and cost-effective method for battling aquatic hitchhikers.
If these species become established, they can be impossible
to contain and control.
and follow New Hampshire Laws . Whether you're
an angler, gardener, pet owner or retail outlet that
sells aquatic products, it's important to know New
Hampshire laws. It is illegal to release any
amphibian, reptile, or fish without first obtaining special
permits issued by the New Hampshire Fish
and Game Department. (Anglers may practice catch-and-release
fishing, but the fish can only be released back into
the same waters.) Additionally, the
sale, distribution, importation, purchase, propagation,
transportation, or introduction of exotic aquatic
weeds into the state is prohibited. To learn more
about the law and a description of prohibited and
allowable species click
of bait properly . If
you're fishing with live bait, do not dump
unused bait into the water, even if it is
a native species or on the approved list. Dumping
your bait into waters can introduce disease and nuisance
species that may potentially be mixed in with the
bait. The best way to dispose of bait is by placing
it in a sealed container in the trash.
recreation equipment . Anglers
and boaters can prevent the transport of aquatic nuisance
species by cleaning all recreational equipment. Whenever
you leave a body of water:
any visible mud, plants, fish or animals.
water from equipment (engine water intake
systems, bilge, live wells, bait buckets).
and dry anything that comes into contact
with water (boats, trailers, equipment, etc.)
release plants, fish or animals into
a body of water unless they came out of that body
details on what to look for or how to go about the
Some recreational users want to know more and also
get involved in local programs that help to protect
their waters. Search the various links throughout
the site to learn about specific types of nuisance
species, the kinds of impact they can create, and
the different ways you can get involved in this issue.
Hampshire Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) of Primary
there are many potential nuisance species, the following
list present the most immediate threat to New Hampshire
. Click on a species to learn more.
Zebra Mussels (and other Great Lakes ANS)
Aquatic and Wetland Plants
Yellow floating heart