PETERBOROUGH, ON--(Marketwired - June 18, 2015) - This summer, competitive tournament anglers will be joining the fight against one of the greatest threats to Ontario’s biodiversity at boat launches throughout southern Ontario.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) have announced the launch of Clean Boats, Clean Tournaments -- a new outreach program that will engage competitive tournament anglers in best management practices to avoid the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and diseases like Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS).

From now through August, OFAH staff will be travelling to club tournament weigh-ins in the Kawartha Lakes and Lake Simcoe watersheds to demonstrate the ‘Clean, Drain, Dry’ message and engage tournament anglers in AIS awareness and free boat inspection/washing demonstrations.

Due to the frequency at which competitive tournament anglers travel between watersheds, their actions at the launch are extremely important in preventing the spread of AIS and preserving fishing opportunities across Ontario. Wil Wegman of MNRF’s Aurora District, a seasoned tournament angler himself, remarked: “Tournament anglers can set the example in invasive species prevention for recreational anglers and the public at launches across the province.”

We can all help protect Ontario’s fisheries for future generations by following a few simple steps each time we are leaving a waterbody. Be sure to clean off all visible mud, vegetation and other debris, pull and store the drain plug, lower your outboard to drain standing water and drain all live wells before leaving the launch.

By establishing this two minute routine every time we take our boats out of the water, we can all do our part to help protect lakes across Ontario,” said Wegman.

For more information on how you can help prevent the spread please visit or contact the OFAH/MNRF Invading Species Awareness Program at 1-800-563-7711.

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 720 member clubs, the OFAH is the province’s largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit

Contact Information:

Media Contacts:
Matt Smith
Monitoring & Information Management
Specialist/ Aquatic Invasive Species
Outreach Liaison
(705) 748-6324 ext. 247

Sophie Monfette
Invading Species Awareness Program
(705) 748-6324 ext. 274