Personal 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:
- Avoid running the engine through aquatic plants near the boat access.
- After the engine has stopped, do a visual inspection of the water-intake area and remove any suspicious plants or other materials.
- Push or winch the watercraft up on the trailer without running the engine.
- After you have pulled the watercraft out of the water, run engine for 5-10 seconds on the trailer to blow out excess water and vegetation from internal drive, and then turn the engine off.
- Clean aquatic plants, animals, and other suspicious materials from the hull, trailer, water-intake grate, and steering nozzle before leaving the water 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 or make a report online.