New Maine Law impacts all watercraft users
From the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:
New law impacting boaters, paddlers, anglers, and any other watercraft users.
To reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species in Maine, a law was passed by Maine Legislature that requires boaters to take specific actions to encourage water to drain from their watercraft prior to entering a water body or leaving a launch site (PUBLIC LAW 2023 CHAPTER 190). Aquatic invasive species are any fish, wildlife, or plant species that spreads to a water body where they do not naturally occur. These species are often transferred to new locations on watercraft, watercraft trailers, and other equipment associated with water recreation, and they impact the health of our waters, fish, and wildlife.
Effective June 16, 2023, boaters are now required to do the following:
Prior to entering a water body and when preparing to leave launch sites, boaters are required to remove or open any devices designed for routine removal/opening (for example, hull drain plugs, bailers, live wells, ballast tanks) to encourage draining of areas containing water (excluding live bait containers). This must be done in a way that does not allow drained water to enter any inland water of the state.
This puts into law what the Clean, Drain, Dry educational and outreach campaign has already been encouraging boaters to do. By ensuring that all boaters are draining water when it is from a different source than the inland water body they are about to enter, the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species including some that are not always visible by eye, to new areas is drastically reduced. Similar laws are already in effect in more than 20 other states, including neighboring New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. This law will limit the spread of aquatic invasive species we already have in Maine while proactively limiting potential for the introduction of aquatic invasive species that would be new to the state such as quagga mussels and the spiny water flea.