Clean, Drain, & Dry

Clean, Drain, & Dry

Home to more than 1,000 lakes and ponds...

and home to over 40,000 miles of rivers and streams. These natural resources are important for many reasons. Unfortunately, our lakes and ponds in New Hampshire, and the lakes throughout the country, are under attack from invading aquatic invasive species. Plants like variable milfoil and animals like Asian clams 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. They also can make recreation difficult and dangerous as they are expensive and difficult to manage and nearly impossible to get rid of once firmly established.

That’s why we need people in addition to our own efforts, to prevent them in the first place.


Pull the plug on the spread of invasive species by practicing:
Clean. Drain. Dry.


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

Invasive Species Prevention Initiatives

Lake Host

Clean water, happy wildlife, and stable property values depend on a healthy lake, free of invasive species. The NH LAKES Lake Host Program is the first line of defense in keeping our lakes free of invasive plants and animals.

Invasive Species

Invasive species are organisms that thrive in an area where they did not naturally develop and that cause harm to the economy, environment, or people. Learn more about the species we are most concerned about and what you can do to prevent them!

monitor manage invasive species nh lakes

Watercraft Cleaning Unit

NH LAKES has deployed the first waterless watercraft cleaning unit in the Northeast—the CD3 Clean, Drain, Dry & Dispose Unit! Our mobile, solar-powered CD3 is visiting public boat ramps throughout the state helping boaters prevent the spread of invasive species.