Seaplanes can spread aquatic nuisance species. Check out these videos produced by the Paciseaplane logofic 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 on the 100th Meridian Initiative website ( and complete the training course and carry a certificate available on-line at

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 (household bleach {one part household bleach to 5 parts water mixed in a spray bottle} or 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.


Critical Waters


Do you want to know which western water bodies are considered to be either “positive” for quagga or zebra (dreissenid) mussels or for a “critical” invasive plant species? Take a look at our List of Critical Waters.

Other Resources


Recommendations for Seaplane Inspection and Decontamination for Aquatic Nuisance Species (August 2010)

Seaplane Critical Waters List (Updated September 2011)

Invasive Aquatic Plants and Floatplane Operations: Help prevent new infestations (2013)