Aquatic Invasive Species Programs

Boaters! You can help prevent the introduction and spread of non-native species from one body of water to another by cleaning, draining and drying your boat. Click here to find out how to clean your boat.

Non-native aquatic species—plants,quagga and zebra mussels—are invading California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and reservoirs and lakes. These pests can increase dramatically under the right conditions, displacing native species, clogging waterways and creating hazardous conditions for navigation and recreation. Once introduced, they are nearly impossible to eraticate. Egeria densa, water hyacinth, and quagga and zebra mussels are some of the nuisance species that can be accidentally transported by recreational boaters when caught in propellers or intakes or attached to hulls. Controlling these aquatic invasive species is a multi-million dollar problem in California.


The mission of the Aquatic Invasive Species Program is to manage aquatic invasive plants in the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta, and to help prevent Dressinid mussels in partnership with other state, local and federal agencies.

The Aquatic Weed Control Program includes both floating and submersed aquatic vegetation. DBW uses an Integrated Pest Management strategy with the following components:

  • • Public information and education
    • Prevention
    • Pre-established action levels for chemical, biological and physical control
    • Environmental monitoring

Since submersed and floating aquatic vegetation are well established in the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta, eradication may not be feasible, while controlling invasive growth is likely to lessen negative economic and biological impacts.

DBW’s control program obtains environmental clearances from the National Marine Fisheries Services of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Water Resources Control Board, and County Agricultural Commissioners’ offices. The program operates an extensive water quality monitoring program to ensure compliance with water quality standards.

DBW also manages the Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention Grant Program. Funding for two types of projects is available to any public uninfested reservoir owner or manager:

  • • Planning/Assessment
    These projects may include conducting a vulnerability assessment of a reservoir for the introduction of quagga and zebra mussels, or the development of a prevention plan designed to prevent the introduction of the dressinid mussels into the reservoir.
  • • Implementation/ Construction
    These projects must have a pre-established vulnerability assessment and a prevention plan. They may include, but are not limited to, the implementation of watercraft inspections and decontaminations, banding programs, early detection mussel monitoring, and education and outreach.