Gene Gilliland, the National Conservation Director for the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), one of Mossy Oak’s most important partners in the fishing segment, lists aquatic invasive species – from hyacinth to mussels to rogue fish species – as a top-three threat effecting sport fish populations, healthy habitats and the well-being of humankind.
Sterilizing boat hulls, trailers and livewells of foreign organic materials, right down to the microscopic level, between water bodies remains one of the most critical conservation measures in the United States.
Since 2017, over 100 CD3 Watercraft Cleaning Stations have been installed at access sites across the United States and Canada. To date, those cleaning stations – equipped with tools that boaters and anglers can use to remove invasive plant material and debris from their boats, as well as any standing water that may harbor microscopic invaders – have now been utilized more than one million times, reports Wildlife Forever invasive species coordinator Amanda Preston.
“One million tool uses is a major milestone, and shows that when agencies invest in prevention tools, people use them and become part of the solution,” said Preston.
“Not only do our cleaning stations provide necessary tools to empower local communities to take part in invasive species prevention and support [the Wildlife Forever] Clean Drain Dry Initiative, but they also serve as educational kiosks to help spread the word about preventing the spread of invasive species,” Ed Rudberg, CEO of CD3 systems.
The importance of ridding boats of hitchhiking aquatic invaders between lakes, rivers and ponds cannot be overstated. Even without ready-made cleaning stations, fishermen must take preventative actions to clean and dry their boats between venues. Conservation is a shared value with responsibilities – the lake you save may be your own!