Clean In Clean Out

When boating or fishing in Minnesota, protect your waters by following state aquatic invasive species laws



1. CLEAN all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers, and water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.


2. DRAIN water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property. Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.

Q&A – Boat draining, drain plugs, and bait container draining


3. DISPOSE of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.

KNOW THE LAW: You may not…

  • Transport watercraft without removing the drain plug.
  • Arrive at lake access with drain plug in place.
  • Transport aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or other prohibited species on any roadway.
  • Launch a watercraft with prohibited species attached.
  • Transport water from Minnesota lakes or rivers.
  • Release bait into the water.




Spray, rinse, dry — Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving zebra mussel and spiny waterflea infested waters:     

  • Spray with high-pressure water
  • Rinse with very hot water*
  • Dry for at least 5 days

Run motor and personal watercraft for a few seconds to discharge water before leaving a water access.

Transport fish on ice — be prepared, bring a cooler.

* These water temperatures will kill zebra mussels and some other AIS: 120°F for at least 2 minutes; or 140°F for at least 10 seconds.


movie icon Watch the Clean, Drain, Dry video »


Report new infestations

If you suspect a new infestation of an invasive plant or animal, take a photo and note the location, or save a specimen and report it to a local DNR invasive species contact.

There is also a risk of spreading AIS by other water recreation. In addition to the required and recommended actions listed above, take extra precautions when engaging in these activities.


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Personal watercraft


  • Avoid areas with  aquatic plants before trailering personal watercraft.
  • Run engine for 5-10 seconds on the trailer to blow out excess water and vegetation from internal drive, and then turn  engine off.
  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from hull, trailer, water intake grate, and steering nozzle before leaving water access.

movie icon Watch this YouTube video to see how you can help »





  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from hull, centerboard or bilgeboard well, rudderpost, trailer, and other equipment before leaving water access.


Scuba diving


  • Clean  aquatic plants, animals, and mud from equipment before leaving water access.
  • Drain water from buoyancy compensator, regulator, cylinder,  boot, and any water-containing devices.  
  • Rinse inside and outside of gear  with hot water.


Waterfowl hunting


  • Clean aquatic plants, animals, and mud from boat, motor, trailer, waders or hip boots, decoy lines, hunting dog,  anchors (elliptical and bulb-shaped anchors can help reduce snagging aquatic plants), pushpoles, and ATVs.
  • Cut cattails or other plants above the waterline for blinds or camouflage In accordance with regulations.

movie icon Watch this video with tips for waterfowl hunters »



Shore and fly-fishing


  • Clean any visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from waders and hip boots.
  • Scrub any visible material off footwear with a stiff brush.
  • Use non-felt soled boots instead of felt-soled footwear to further reduce the risk of spreading AIS.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait, worms and fish parts in the trash. When keeping live bait, drain bait container and replace with bottled or tap water. 


Seaplane pilots


Help Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species by Seaplanes

movie icon Watch this YouTube video to see what you can do to help »



Wild rice harvesting


  • Clean all visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud off push poles, flails, canoes, boats, trailers, and other equipment before leaving the water access.
  • Drain water from boats, canoes, and all equipment.
  • Report suspected new infestations to a DNR AIS specialist.

movie icon Watch this award-winning YouTube video to learn how invasive species jeopardize the delicate ecological order.  »