How a boat is designed can influence its ability to transport invasive species. Boats can be designed to:
In a January 2015 summit with aquatic invasive species specialists and boat manufacturers, the specialists ranked the following by risk by transport:
If a boat moved from an infested area will be launched in waters that are not infested with zebra or quagga mussels, the general recommendation is to keep the boat out of water and let it dry for a minimum of 30 days after cleaning all equipment and draining all possible sources of standing water. However, such "quarantine" times may be reduced depending on local temperatures and relative humidities.
In general, zebra and quagga mussels can survive longer out of water if local conditions are cold and humid than if conditions are hot and dry. This tool estimates recommended quarantine times based on average humidity and temperature zones in the 48 contiguous United States.
If a boat has been in infested waters, please use this tool to estimate the minimum time it should remain out of water (after being cleaned thoroughly), before launching in uninfested waters. Recommendations are only guidelines for average conditions and are based on evidence from laboratory experiments where other factors are held constant. Thus, recommended quarantine times may not produce 100% mortality under real-world conditions where unidentified, yet contributing factors are free to vary. This tool will provide a minimum quarantine time that you may need to adjust upward if your situation includes additional contributing factors that may be important.
Along with this tool, please use your best judgment before launching a potentially contaminated boat in uninfested waters.
Maximum Daily Temperature (°F) Minimum Days Out of Water
<30 3="" p="">
30-40 28 (4 weeks)
40-60 21 (3 weeks)
60-80 14 (2 weeks)
80-100 7 (1 week)
 Equation used to create the Drying Time Estimator: http://www.westernais.org/technical-information is from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Contract Report EL-93-1, June 1993, "Use of Emersion as a Zebra Mussel Control Method" by Robert F. McMahon, Thomas A. Ussery, and Michael Clarke, The University of Texas at Arlington.*
Boat manufacturers and promoting standards for boat design and construction to minimize the ability of watercraft to transport aquatic invasive species. Industry is developing standards and promoting the following best management practices*:
Design and Construction:
Systems and Components:
*Extracted from the draft Boat Design and Construction in Consideration of Aquatic Invasive Species report by the American Boat and Yacht Council (March 2016).
Inspection and Cleaning Manual for Equipment and Vehicles to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species (Bureau of Reclamation 2012)