The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is calling on boaters and anglers to stop aquatic hitchhikers while enjoying Iowa’s many lakes and streams this holiday weekend. Invasive species, such as zebra mussels or Eurasian watermilfoil, spread by catching a ride on boats, bait buckets and other equipment exposed to water. The risk of species transfer is higher than normal around the Fourth of July as many people celebrate our nation’s independence outdoors. “Aquatic invasive species can reduce native species and make lakes and rivers unusable for boaters, anglers and swimmers, “said Kim Bogenschutz, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the DNR. To prevent the spread of these aquatic pests, the DNR recommends any plants, animals or mud be cleaned before leaving, water should be drained from transom wells, bait buckets and other similar containers and anything that has come in contact with water should be allowed to dry for at least five days before moving it to another waterbody. Iowa law prohibits the possession or transportation of prohibited aquatic invasive species and requires boater to drain all water from boats and equipment upon departure. For more information on these species and a list of infested waters, follow the link included below.