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Protect South Carolina Waters and Stop
Aquatic Hitchhiker

Keep South Carolina aquatic resources working for you, naturally!

South Carolina boasts some of the best fishing, shelling, boating and beaches in the country. However, without the help of everyone who visits our lakes, rivers, estuaries and oceans, South Carolina 's natural resources will be threatened by unassuming creatures that hitchhike with us from one source of water to another. These hitchhikers can cause economic damages to the state; for example - in South Carolina, sportfishing generates $659 million in retail sales annually, and supports 13,600 jobs. The state has spent over $14 million since 1985 to control nuisance aquatic weeds in public waters.



South Carolina freshwater habitat
Minnows - baitfish


Coastal habitat
Raw shrimp Man shucking oysters Lionfish - invasive species
Recycle Used Oyster Shells
Photo: William B. Folsom, NMFS
Don't Release
Aquarium Animals

Photo: Mr. Mohammed
Al Momany,Jordan

Clean all Recreational Equipment Before and After Using all South Carolina Waters

Aquatic nuisance species can hitch a ride on our boats, trailers, and other items used in the water. When we go to another lake or stream, the nuisance species can be released; if the conditions are right, they can become established and create drastic results.

If you follow the recommended procedures, for the most part it is not necessary to know what nuisance species may be in what waters; the procedures will reduce the possibility of unwanted hitchhikers being released in your waters.

Recommended Boat, Motor, and Trailer Cleaning Procedure

Regular cleaning of your boat, motor, and trailer before and after using all South Carolina waters can greatly reduce the spread of aquatic nuisance species. It takes just a minute to protect our waterways.

Look for aquatic hitchhikers on boats
Where to look for aquatic hitchhikers on boats.

Aquatic Nuisance Species of Primary Concern

•   Aquatic Plants: Hydrilla, water hyacinth, water lettuce, Giant Salvinia, Phragmites
•   Invertebrates: Green Mussels, Zebra Mussels (Not here yet, but)
•   Fish: flathead catfish, spotted bass, Asian carp, lionfish

Aquatic Nuisance Species Introduction Concerns

•  Aquarium pets
•  Ornamental pond plants
•  Invasive bait fish and crayfish
•  Invasive aquaculture species
•  Marine fish, shellfish, shrimp, and associated pathogens and diseases
•  Ballast water discharge

Links to Learn More

South Carolina Saltwater Fishing
SC Department of Natural Resources

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The Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers web site is part of the ANS Task Force public
awareness campaign and is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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Current Partners

State Info Pages

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South Carolina


Check out the Latest News about the Stop Aquatic Hitchhiker Campaign and the aquatic hitchhiker problem.

Common Hitchhikers

Zebra Mussels
Whirling Disease
Spiny Water Fleas
Round Gobies
Water Hyacinth

Video Clips
Asian Carp in the Upper Mississippi River
(Real Video format)

Round Goby
(Quicktime Format)
New Audio Messages for Traveler Information Systems
Zebra Mussel (mp3)
Zebra Mussel #2 (mp3)