Researchers and Managers

Prevention and Response Planning

Decontamination Methods for Sampling Activities and Fieldwork

Scientific researchers and resource managers undertake a variety of activities targeting invasive mussels in the field. While work in the field is integral to containing the spread of mussels and informing future management decisions and activities, prevention is equally as necessary for researchers and managers as it is for any other water body user. Fieldwork and prevention activities must always be compliant with relevant state, provincial, and federal protocols and regulations. Always adhere to any agency recommendations for fieldwork and prevention, as some prevention methods outlined below may not be allowed and/or suitable in all areas.

Sampling activities and fieldwork often take users into areas where conventional methods of decontamination may not be readily available. In situations where it is possible and/or necessary to disinfect watercraft and gear, the Invasive Mussel Collaborative has developed a decontamination reference guide that summarizes available options for the treatment of zebra and quagga mussels.

  • Not all methods presented in the reference guide are appropriate or feasible for all gear types and/or all situations.
  • State and local agencies may recommend, require, or permit specific methods of decontamination for specific gear types or locations.
  • Some decontamination methods can be scaled to meet specific needs.
  • States may regulate decontamination runoff as wastewater and additional action may be needed to properly dispose of runoff water.
  • Surrounding plants and soils could be harmed if decontamination is done improperly.
  • Know your local, state, and federal regulations before use of any of the methods.

For a printable version of the reference guide, click on the image above or click HERE.

Undertake decontamination efforts only after surfaces are visibly clean, drained, and dry. For more in-depth gear-specific and method-specific decontamination information, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ decontamination and disinfection website.

The decontamination protocols presented above were gathered and compiled from various federal and state agencies. See below for links to specific protocols.

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Erika Jensen
Great Lakes Commission
(734) 971-9135

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