As of January 1, 2022, Ontario boats, canoes and kayaks (watercrafts) have been regulated as a carrier of invasive species. While cleaning your boat is good practice, and some tips can be found in our article How to Clean Your Boat, Ontario’s new regulation aims to reduce the risk of boaters accidentally transporting invasive species.
What does this mean?
It is important to note that boaters are now required to take the following steps before transporting a boat or boat equipment overland. The new regulation reads as follows:
- remove or open drain plugs to allow water to drain from the boat or boat equipment
- take reasonable precautions to remove all aquatic plants (weeds), animals and algae from any boat, boat equipment, vehicle or trailer
Before reaching a launch site or placing a watercraft in any body of water in Ontario, boaters are required to ensure their boat, boating equipment, vehicles or trailers are free of all:
- aquatic plants
The new regulation does not require the removal of drain plugs for the following situations:
- drinking water systems, marine sanitary systems or closed engine cooling systems
- a livewell, if the person transporting the livewell overland is transporting live fish in the livewell pursuant to a licence to transport live fish issued under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997
In addition to Ontario’s update to the Invasive Species Act boaters with a livewell must make sure that their livewell is rinsed out before travelling to a new body of water. Cleaning your livewell with a 1:10 solution of bleach and water will help prevent the spread of fish-harming pathogens.
For further information visit Ontario’s Boaters Action Plan. It is important to always make sure that you are aware and up-to-date with your provincial and federal regulations.