Cheyenne - Wyoming waters remain free of the invasive and destructive zebra and quagga mussels, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is working to keep it that way. Boaters can help stop the spread of mussels and other aquatic invasive species (AIS) by following Clean, Drain, Dry procedures and getting their watercraft inspected. It helps keep AIS from spreading, and it is the law.
“Boaters protect Wyoming waters by keeping invasive mussels and plants out of the state when they clean their watercraft of mud and plants, drain any standing water,and dry the boat before transport,” said Beth Bear, aquatic invasive species program coordinator.
State regulations require all boats transported into Wyoming from March 1 through Nov. 30 to undergo an inspection by an authorized inspector prior to launching in Wyoming’s waters. Any boat that has been in zebra/quagga mussel-infested water in the past 30 days is required to undergo an inspection prior to launching anytime of year. Anyone transporting a boat must stop at an open check station on their route of travel, even if they don’t intend to launch their boat in Wyoming. It is the boater’s responsibility to seek out an inspection before launching on any Wyoming waterway. Inspection locations may be found on the Game and Fish website. Most watercraft users must also purchase and display an AIS decal.
“Inspections are easy and fast,” said Bear.
As an added bonus, boaters who stop at AIS check stations this year will be eligible to win outdoor equipment and trips through the Wyoming AIS Boater Appreciation Raffle. Boaters receive a raffle entry each time their boat is inspected at any Game and Fish check station. Each inspection receipt will include a unique raffle number which must be entered into the Game and Fish’s website for the boater to be eligible for the raffle. The raffle registration site is located at the bottom of the AIS Raffle webpage. Winners will be randomly selected Dec. 2.
Prizes have been donated by outdoor businesses that share a concern for the future of Wyoming’s waters. They include:
|Wyoming Sportsman’s Warehouses in
Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Rock Springs and Sheridan
|Grand Prize: Firman P03611 4550/3650 Watt portable generator, Yeti Tundra 65 cooler, Coleman Sportster propane grill, Sportsman's Warehouse deluxe hard armchairs
|The Reef Fly Shop, Cottages and RV
||Guided trout fishing trip for two
||Dragonfly 4Pro Finder
||Liquid Force SC Vortex wakeboard
|West Laramie Fly Store
||Coleman dual-fuel two-burner camp stove
The costs of AIS infestation are great to the sportsperson and the local community, especially when it comes to mussels.
“Invasive zebra and quagga mussels clog water delivery systems used for power plants, irrigation and municipal water supplies, ruin boat motors and fisheries, which increases the costs for everyone,” said Bear. “Once waters are infested, the mussels cannot be eradicated from large reservoirs, like Flaming Gorge or Glendo.”
For the most recent and up-to-date information on Wyoming AIS, visit the Game and Fish website. The 2019 AIS decal is also available online, at all Game and Fish regional offices and at license selling agents. A complete list of license selling agents may be found at the department’s website under the Aquatic Invasive Species tab. There is also a combination watercraft registration and AIS decal that may be purchased for one or three years. Watercraft users may also call the Game and Fish Office for more information at (307) 777-4600.
(Sara DiRienzo (307-777-4540))
- WGFD -