If a state invasive species inspection station is open then anyone bringing watercraft into Oregon must stop, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said this week as four stations opened for boating season.
The rule applies to any size of motorized or non-motorized watercraft, including kayaks, canoes, rafts, stand-up paddle boards and surfboards, according to the ODFW. The state has inspection stations open throughout the year in Ashland and Ontario. Seasonal stations opened Wednesday in Brookings, Klamath Falls, Lakeview and Umatilla.
Inspectors look for stowaway zebra and quagga mussels, a pair of invasive freshwater bivalve mollusks. They also check for invasive New Zealand mud snails and aquatic plants. Inspections take about five to 10 minutes.
Drivers of vehicles towing or carrying watercraft that fail to stop at an inspection station could be subject to a $110 fine. The ODFW reports that inspectors found invasive species aboard 365 watercraft in 2018 among 28,190 inspections. The contaminated boats came into Oregon from Arizona, California, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Texas.
The state requires aquatic invasive species prevention permits for any motorized boats and any non-motorized boat 10 feet and longer. For more information about the permits go to myodfw.com/articles/buying-aquatic-invasive-species-prevention-permit.