Aquatic Invasive Species

Introduced Species - Chain Pickerel

The intentional or accidental introduction of fish or other aquatic organisms from one lake or stream to another can negatively affect local fish populations through competition, disease, or genetic changes. No one is allowed to release live fish into the waters of the province, except under a license issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Unwanted fish species can be accidentally spread by releasing unused live bait. Do not discard bait unless it was caught from the water body in which you are fishing. Because of the potential threat to local fish populations, it is illegal to use certain species as bait or to possess them for bait (whether alive or dead). These include bass, bullhead, white perch, yellow perch, goldfish, pickerel, or any fish not taken from provincial waters.

Report illegal fishing activities or introductions to your local office of the Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-565-2224, or Department of Fisheries and Oceans at 1-800-565-1633, or Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-565-TIPS (8477). You can also report any sightings of introduced species, if possible with date, location and picture to: or call 1-888-435 4040.

For examples of aquatic invasive species, and Canada’s plan to address aquatic invasive species see Canadian Action Plan to Address the Threat of Aquatic Invasive Species on Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.

  1. Inspect your boat, motor, trailer, and boating equipment such as anchors and fishing gear, centerboards, rollers, and axles. Remove any animals and plants that are visible before leaving any waterbody.
  2. Drain water from the motor, live well, bilge and transom wells while on land immediately before leaving the waterbody.
  3. Wash out or dry your boots, waders, boat, tackle, trailer, and other boating equipment to kill harmful species that were not visible at the boat launch. Some aquatic species can survive more than two weeks out of water. Therefore, it is important to:
    • Rinse your boat and equipment that normally gets wet with hot tap water (greater than 40°C), or
    • Spray your boat and trailer with high pressure water (250 psi), or
    • Dry your boat and equipment in the sun for at least 5 days before transporting them to another body of water.