A New Hampshire lake during summer


clean drain dryNew Hampshire is home to more than 1,000 lakes and ponds and over 40,000 miles of rivers and streams. These natural resources are important for many reasons. Unfortunately, our waterbodies in New Hampshire, and throughout the country, are under attack from invading aquatic invasive species. Plants like variable milfoil and animals like zebra mussels cause serious problems in waterbodies. Not only do they crowd out native plants and animals, they affect people by fouling boating, swimming and fishing areas, and reducing shoreline property values and tourism.


Here’s how:

Before leaving any boat launch area:

CLEAN: Clean off all mud, plants, animals, and debris from your boat, trailer, and equipment. Clean off anchors and anchor lines, water intake grates on jet-powered craft, kayak and canoe cockpits, storage compartments, and paddles, too! Dispose of all material away from the waterbody where it won’t wash back into the water. Cleaning is the law in New Hampshire!

DRAIN: Drain the motor, bilge, live wells, ballast tanks, storage compartments, and gear. Blow out water in jet-powered craft and tip paddle craft and motors to let out water. Drain all equipment away from the water where runoff won’t flow back into the water. OPEN/REMOVE drain plugs and keep out/open while trailering. You may need a wrench to remove plugs. Draining is the law in New Hampshire!

DRY: Dry off everything that came into contact with the water. If launching your boat again within 5 days, thoroughly rinse with clean water somewhere runoff won’t flow back into the water and towel dry—rinsing with high pressure, hot water between waterbodies is the gold standard.

Between visiting waterbodies:

RINSE: Rinse boat hull and trailer with clean water. Flush motor, bilge, live wells, ballast tanks, and storage compartments with clean water per boat manufacturer instructions. It is best to visit a carwash before launching again, especially if the boat has been in a waterbody containing an invasive species infestation.

Extra caution should always be taken if a boat has been in a waterbody infested with an aquatic invasive species. See which waterbodies in New Hampshire have an infestation status by clicking here.

Are you a homeowner along a lake or pond?

Please be sure to educate your guests or tenants about the “Clean, Drain and Dry” method for preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. NH LAKES provides informational brochures free of charge to homeowners, local groups, and businesses. Request a supply today by emailing lakehost@nhlakes.org! Please provide your full name and mailing address and how many copies you would like.