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Boating Laws - stop aquatic hitchhikers!

What boaters need to know:

Michigan law requires that a person remove all aquatic plants from watercraft, watercraft equipment and trailers before placing these into Michigan waters.

Prior to transporting any watercraft over land, boaters are required to do all of the following:

  • Remove all drain plugs from bilges, ballast tanks and live wells.
  • Drain all water from any live wells and bilges.
  • Ensure that the watercraft, trailer and any conveyance used to transport the watercraft or trailer are free of aquatic organisms, including plants.

This means that after trailering boats, and before getting on the road, boaters must pull plugs, drain water and remove plants and debris.

Violation of the law is a state civil infraction, and violators may be subject to fines up to $100.

For more information on this law, see Michigan's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (Act 451 of 1994) Part 413.