Water News

    Boat Inspection Stations Open in Oregon to Target Invasive Species

    The aquatic invasive species boat inspection station at the Ashland Port of Entry will open on Feb. 11, 2013. Stations in Gold Beach, Klamath Falls, Lakeview and Ontario will open in the coming months.

    All vehicles carrying motorized or non-motorized boats (kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, sailboats, etc.) are required to stop. Motorists are alerted to inspections stations by orange “Boat Inspection Ahead” signs followed by a white “Inspection Required for All Watercraft” sign. Failure to stop at an inspection station could result in a $110 fine.

    Inspections usually take less then 10 minutes if boats are free of aquatic invasive species. If a boat is found to be contaminated with species such as quagga or zebra mussels, it will be decontaminated on site by the watercraft inspection team with a hot water pressure washer. There is no penalty or cost for the boat owner if their boat is found to be contaminated with invasive species.

    Inspection stations are operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at Port of Entries, highway rest stops and boat ramps across the state.

    2013 Locations of Watercraft Inspection Stations in Oregon

    • Ashland I-5, Ashland Port of Entry: 2/11/13 – 10/1/13
    • Gold Beach Hwy 101: 7/8/13 – 10/1/13
    • Klamath Falls Hwy 97 at Midland Rest Area: 5/1/13 – 9/15
    • Lakeview Hwy 395 south of Lakeview: 5/1/12 – 9/15
    • Ontario I-84 and Hwy. 20 at Ontario Rest Area: 5/1/13 – 10/1/13

    Full schedule (pdf)

    “Boat inspections work,” said Rick Boatner, ODFW Invasive Species, Wildlife Integrity coordinator, “but just as important is educating boat owners about how to inspect their own boats.  Prevention is the only way to keep aquatic invasive species out of Oregon’s waters.  Once invasive species are introduced and established there may be very little that can be done. It will affect how all Oregonians use our water resources. “

    In addition to quagga and zebra mussels, inspectors are looking for New Zealand mudsnails and Eurasian watermilfoil and other aquatic plants.

    Aquatic invasive species discovered on 51 boats during 2012 inspection season

    In 2012, fifty-one of 4,675 watercraft inspected were contaminated with aquatic invasive species; 32 had plant material (i.e. Eurasian watermilfoil) or other non-native organisms (e.g. snails, saltwater mussels). Eighteen were contaminated with either quagga or zebra mussels. All boats were decontaminated. Additional information is available in the 2012 Oregon Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program Annual Report (pdf).

    The Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program is self-supporting, based on the sales of required Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permits.


    Image courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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