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:

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.

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.

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.

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.


Other Resources

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

© 2020 Aquatic Invasive Species Network. Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. All rights reserved.