Seaplanes can spread aquatic nuisance species. Check out these videos produced by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission – they contain background information on aquatic invasives as well as detailed instructions for inspection and decontamination. If you operate a seaplane, do your part to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasives by following these procedures:
1. View the seaplane inspection and cleaning video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luDZptFsQDk).
2. Before entering the watercraft:
- Inspect and remove all aquatic plants or attached mussels, snails or other animals from all exterior surfaces of floats, wires, cables, transoms, spreader bars and rudders.
- To the extent practical pump, remove or otherwise treat (rinse with 140 °F water) all water from floats, wheel wells and any other compartments or areas of the aircraft that can contain or maintain raw water.
3. Before takeoff:
- Taxi clear of any aquatic plants.
- Re-inspect for any visual sign of aquatic vegetation.
- Raise and lower rudders several times or otherwise remove any aquatic vegetation.
- Make sure all floats remain as dry internally as possible during takeoff.
4. After takeoff:
- Raise and lower rudders several times to free any remaining aquatic vegetation while over the departing waterbody or over dry land.
- If aquatic plants persist and are still visible on floats, cables or rudders, return to the same waterbody and manually remove them.
5. Storage and mooring:
- Remove aircraft from the water whenever practical to better facilitate self-inspection, drainage, removal, cleaning and drying.
- Maintain floats and hulls to make sure they remain water tight; including sealing seams, replacing gaskets on inspection covers and repairing any cracks.