ANS Frequently Asked Questions in New Hampshire
are aquatic nuisance species (ANS)? Aquatic
nuisance species are non-native organisms which threaten
the diversity of native plants and animals or the
ecological stability of infected waters. They may
also lead to negative impacts on the recreational
use of New Hampshire 's waters.
are aquatic nuisance species a problem? Introducing
plants and animals to new habitats is risky. Free
from natural predators and competitors, some non-native
species reproduce rapidly in their new homes, out-compete
native species (leading to their decline or extinction)
and become a costly nuisance. In general, invasive
species are considered “biological pollutants” that
have led to a severe loss of biodiversity and habitat
alteration throughout the world.
all non-native species considered a nuisance? No.
Some non-native species are ecologically harmless.
do non-native species get into New Hampshire waters?
Many exotic species have been
transported to the U.S. in the ballast tanks of ocean-going
freighters from European ports. Other introductions
result from aquarium releases, escapes from aquaculture
facilities, or leftover bait dumped into a lake or
stream. Some species, such as zebra mussels, can be
transported from one stream or lake to another on
boats and trailers, in live-wells and boat motors,
and in bait buckets
are invasive plants a problem? Invasive plants
such as purple loosestrife and Eurasian watermilfoil
are aggressive plants that establish themselves quickly
in wetlands and inland lakes and out-compete and replace
native vegetation. They provide little food or habitat
for wildlife, crowd-out plants that are valuable to
wildlife, form a dense growth that can block access
to the water, or hinder activities such as boating
What can I do to help? Learn to
recognize aquatic nuisance species. By becoming familiar
with native and non-native species citizens can help
monitor invasive species populations and slow their
spread. You can also learn how to inspect your boat,
motor, trailer, and other fishing and boating equipment,
to detect the presence of non-native species. Please
dispose of unused bait into the trash after first
placing species that can crawl out (such as crayfish
and worms) into a sealed container. Also, don't transport
bait collected from one lake or stream to another.
Following these general guidelines will help you avoid
transporting non-native species to new locations.
Once you become knowledgeable about aquatic nuisance
species, you can inform your fishing and boating friends
about aquatic nuisance species so that they can also
become part of the solution.
and when can I prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance
species into the waters where I recreate? By
following the simple procedures described below each
time you leave the water, you can help stop aquatic
- Remove any visible mud, plants, fish or animals
before transporting equipment.
- Eliminate water from equipment before transporting.
- Clean and dry anything that came in contact with
water (Boats, trailers, equipment, clothing, dogs,
- Never release plants, fish, or other animals
into a body of water unless they came out of that
body of water.
should I use this procedure to prevent nuisance species?
- have negative impacts on fish and waterfowl populations,
- reduce or eliminate native species and degrade
- render lakes and rivers unusable by anglers,
boaters and swimmers,
- ruin boat engines and jam steering equipment,
- reduce property values, and negatively impact
the economies of communities which depend on the
If I only fish in a certain lake, do I need
to follow these general procedures? The one
procedure you'll want to be sure to follow is to not
introduce anything into that lake. Therefore, don't
bring your aquarium from home and dump the contents
into the water. Don't accept a fish from another lake
(even if it is a big one) to release in your lake.
If you borrow someone's equipment, clean it before
using in your lake.
also want to inform others about cleaning their equipment
before they come to your lake. You might consider
working with local authorities to put up signs to
that effect around the lake or at public access points
you decide to explore other waters, clean all your
equipment before you go, and again, when you return.
my boat has been in infested waters, do I need to
do anything more than general procedures? The
longer a boat sits in infested waters, the greater
the chance a hitchhiker can attach to your boat, motor,
bumpers, live wells, anchors, etc. If you feel a rough
surface on the bottom of the boat, propeller, or other
items, be sure to clean your boat and equipment using
the procedure for boaters under the “Prevention Section”
above or click here: http://www.protectyourwaters.net/prevention/user_boaters.php
I have to know which aquatic nuisance species are
in which lake or river? Not if you follow
the recommended procedure every time you leave a body
of water. Even if a lake is considered pristine, you
never know when an ANS has been introduced, but not
yet discovered. So, if you get in the habit of following
ANS safety procedures, you'll help protect more waters.
is helpful to learn about ANS which are common to
your area. However, you don't have to know which ANS
are in any given lake or stream – as long as you always
follow the procedure.
do I find out more about aquatic nuisance species
(ANS) in New Hampshire ? Vi sit the NH Fish
and Game Department's web site at www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/aquatic_nuisance
or the NH Department of Environmental Services
web site at www.des.state.nh.us/wmb/exoticspecies
do I contact if I find an animal or plant that may
be an ANS? Contact the NH Fish and Game Department
at 603-271-2501 or the Department of Environmental
Services at 603-271-2963.