Contact information
For information on Lakes in Wisconsin, contact:
Division of Water
Bureau of Water Quality
Aquatic Invasive Species Contacts

Drain Campaign

Research by the Department and other members of the AIS Partnership has shown that Wisconsin’s AIS laws against the transport of water and live fish are not well understood and practiced by the angling community. To help anglers protect their lakes and fisheries, the Draining Campaign is a set of education materials, outreach events and media designed to help anglers remember to drain their livewells and buckets before leaving the landing. The campaign recommends ice as a safe and legal alternative to keep fish fresh during transport.

Initiated by AIS County Coordinators in Vilas and Oneida counties in 2012, the Draining Campaign is intended as a supplemental campaign to the AIS Partnership’s primary message of 4 prevention steps: Inspect, Remove, Drain and Never Move live fish. This targeted effort will help “fill in the gaps” following years of success in raising general awareness and compliance.

For more information or questions, Questions? Contact Jeanne Scherer at or 608-266-0061

  • Inspect your boat, trailer and equipment
  • Remove all attached plants or animals
  • Drain all water from boats, motors, livewells and other equipment
  • Never move live fish away from a waterbody
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash
  • Buy minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer, and use leftover minnows only if you will be using them on that same waterbody or if no lake or river water or other fish were added to the container.

Following these steps also helps boaters comply with Wisconsin state law, which prohibits the transport of aquatic invasive species.

Joe Bucher Kyle Cherek

Pro angler Joe Bucher [exit DNR] and Wisconsin Foodie chef and host Kyle Cherek [exit DNR] are teaming up with the state to help raise awareness among anglers that draining livewells and buckets containing their catch can stop the spread of invasive species to more lakes and rivers.

Hear the Radio Spots: