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Personal Watercraft

How Personal Watercraft operators can help

Stop the Spread | Personal WatercraftPersonal watercraft have a jet drive system which requires some extra precautions to avoid spreading harmful aquatic exotic species. A pump pulls water in through an opening under the craft, and the impeller (an internal propeller) forces water out, moving the craft forward. Exotic species can easily get lodged in the jet drive system and get transported if the watercraft is taken from one water body to another. A small piece of Eurasian watermilfoil, or other harmful exotic species, caught in the impeller can infest a new lake or river. Zebra mussels could live in excess water in the jet drive and spread to another body of water.

In the water:

  1. Avoid running the engine through aquatic plants near the boat access.
  2. After the engine has stopped, turn the watercraft over while still in the water and pull plants from the water-intake area (this may be easier than crawling under the watercraft while trailered to check for plants). Check the edges of the grate over the water-intake area.
  3. Push or winch the watercraft up on the traler without running the engine.

After trailering:

  1. After you have pulled the watercraft out of the water, unscrew the drain plug to allow water to drain from the hull. (The dark, damp closed area of the impeller provides an ideal environment for exotic plants to survive).
  2. After the engine has stopped and cooled down, pull plants out of the steering nozzle.
  3. Inspect your trailer and any other sporting equipment for aquatic plant fragments, and remove them before you leave the access.

Learn how to identify exotic species, if you believe they have spread to a new location in Ontario, please call the province-wide Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711.