Living with Aquatic Weeds

Native aquatic plants play many vital roles in natural ecosystems. One of their most important functions is helping to prevent the spread of harmful invasive plants. Unfortunately, plant fragments—like other organisms—can travel with watercraft and gear from one lake to another where they can take hold and spread. A plant that lives harmoniously with other plants and animals in one environment may have no natural predators or other controls in a new location.

To prevent the movement of plants from one waterbody to another, be sure to remove plant fragments from boats, trailers and gear before leaving a lake. It is critical that all boaters and anglers inspect, clean, drain, and dry watercraft, waders, and other gear after EVERY visit to a water body.

2016 map of “Aquatic Invasive Plant Locations in Montana.” Graphic courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

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