Drain Campaign Educates Boaters About Invasive Species

When it begins June 4-6, Wisconsin’s annual Drain Campaign will align with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Free Fishing Weekend and Invasive Species Action Month. 

It’s essential for boaters to drain all water from their boats and gear before leaving one lake or river and heading to another. Draining helps to prevent the spread of diseases such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia and the microscopic larvae of invasive species such as zebra mussels. Draining and rinsing a boat engine – especially if it’s used infrequently – also reduces the chance of these larvae plugging the engine’s intake.

Each year, Clean Boats Clean Waters (CBCW) boat inspectors are at launches throughout the state to remind anglers and boaters about the state’s water-draining law – an important prevention effort. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provides funds to Door County to hire aquatic invasive species staff who also support the CBCW program.  

The Drain Campaign’s Ice Your Catch ice-pack supplies will be available for safe distribution at launches this year, but quantities will be more limited because of pandemic-driven supply issues.

To learn more about the effects of invasive species on Wisconsin’s waters and economy, visit