Monday, May 03, 2010

Boat Inspection Stations Open

The above photo is of a rope encrusted with quagga mussels, a non-native species that is spreading across the country.

These invasive mussels coat everything from boats to power turbines. They destroy wildlife habitat and cost millions to control.

We don't want them in Idaho. That's why boat inspection stations are so important in making sure our state stays "mussel free." The following press release from the Idaho Department of Agriculture provides the latest on boat inspection stations. In short, if you are boating this summer in Idaho, expect to be inspected.

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) announced Monday that mandatory watercraft inspection stations will begin opening in Idaho on Tuesday, April 27.

The first stations to open in the state will be near the intersection of Hwy. 51 and Hwy. 78 near Bruneau and on Hwy. 95 near Marsing. A station at U.S. 93, just north of the Nevada state line, will open on Saturday, May 1. Additional stations will be opening statewide throughout the boating season. The stations will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week.

Boaters should expect inspections! The purpose of these stations is to inspect watercraft coming from outside of Idaho. Watercraft inspectors will be looking for high-risk boats that have been in quagga mussel- and zebra mussel-impacted states. Boats will be inspected for any attached mussels and/or standing water. Owners also will be asked where they have boated in the previous 30 days. It is important that boaters arrive in Idaho with a clean, drained and dry watercraft.

Idaho’s inspection program underscores the importance of preventing these mussels from becoming established in Idaho,” said Agriculture Director Celia Gould. “If introduced, these mussels could impact Idaho’s waterbodies and recreation and likely impose a heavy maintenance burden on irrigated agriculture, power generation and water suppliers.”

ISDA urges all boaters to take the following steps to prevent the introduction of the mussels to Idaho:

--Inspect all exposed surfaces - small mussels feel like sandpaper to the touch.

--Wash the hull thoroughly, preferably with hot water.

--Remove all plant and animal material.

--Drain all water and dry all areas.

--Drain and dry the lower outboard unit.

--Clean and dry all live wells.

--Empty and dry any buckets.

--Dispose of all bait in the trash.

--Wait five days and keep watercraft dry between launches into different fresh waters.

For more information contact Amy Ferriter at 208-332-8686 or email at

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