Waukesha County

Anglers Urged to Drain Livewells to Prevent Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

Waukesha County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) staff urge boaters and anglers to drain live wells, bait buckets, motors, and bilges before leaving a boat launch to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and fish diseases between lakes, rivers and streams.


“Anglers are passionate about protecting their waters and are great spokespeople and teachers for Wisconsin’s Drain Campaign,” says Brad Steckart, the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for Washington and Waukesha Counties. “They know draining water from boats helps keep microscopic invasive species and diseases from moving between lakes and rivers.”


Volunteers from the Clean Boats, Clean Waters project will talk with boaters at launches around the state during the annual Drain Campaign from June 1-3. Many locations will also provide free icepacks to remind people that icing is the best way to keep fish fresh. “Ice is preferred by many anglers, since it stops bacterial growth and helps to protect the flavor of the catch,” added Steckart


The following steps are required by law to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species:

  • INSPECT boats, trailers and equipment for attached aquatic plants or animals.
  • REMOVE all attached aquatic plants and animals.
  • DRAIN all water from boats, vehicles, and equipment
  • NEVER MOVE plants or live fish away from a waterbody.
  • DISPOSE of unwanted bait in the trash
  • BUY minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer.
  • Only use LEFTOVER minnows on the same body of water or on other waters if no lake/river water or other fish have been added to the container.


For more information, contact Brad Steckart, AIS Coordinator for Washington and Waukesha Counties at (262) 335-4806 or [email protected]. To learn more about Waukesha County’s invasive species program, visit: www.waukeshacounty.gov/ais or http://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/invasives.