The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is reminding boaters to be aware of invasive plants and other species trying to take over lakes and ponds.
Many boaters who spoke with NBC Connecticut said they know part of their job is to look out for invasive species that could latch onto their vessels.
DEEP said not everyone is aware, and some boaters are carrying these foreign species on their boats from one lake to the next, which can cause big problems.
“The plant life is the one that people aren’t even aware of. They just see it in the water and they don’t think anything of it,” said Roy Sanden, a DEEP boating instructor.
On Sunday DEEP was out reminding boaters what to look for. There is a $95 fine for boaters who fail to clean off their vessels before entering the water, potentially carrying invasive species into the water.
One of the most common problems is zebra mussels, which feed on the same algae that fish need to survive.
There are also invasive plants, which push native species out, and can tangle up boats. Many of these plants form dense mats under the water’s surface, making it difficult to see if you’re swimming.