When we recreate in and along streams, rivers, and lakes, we may trample stream banks and damage the plants that are vital to fish, wildlife and water quality. Plants can be damaged and eliminated through trampling, soil compaction, and even by dogs fetching sticks. Noxious weeds, which compete with native plants, can be spread via the soles of boots, tire treads, and boat propellers and trailers.
Protect riparian habitat and water quality in streams, lakes and rivers by:
- Keeping all animals, including pets and pack animals, out of streams, wetlands, and lakes can prevent fecal matter from entering the water and reduce the amount of damage caused to riparian plants.
- Use official access points to prevent damage to shoreline plants and stream banks.
- If you fish, do not release leftover bait into the water; use it or dispose of it properly. If you get a hook caught and need to cut your line, try to remove and properly dispose of as much of the fishing line as possible.
- Clean all of your gear when moving between water bodies, including your boots and boat. This can help prevent the spread of invasive species.
If you are using a motorized boat, please refer to Guideline 7 for proper care and use.