How to decontaminate your boat
Decontamination is the only way to stop the spread of these horrible mussels. It does not harm your boat. It can actually prevent damage on your boat by removing mussels that would clog pumps and hoses. There are two ways to decontaminate your boat after pulling it out of the water:
Clean mud, plants, animals or other debris from your boat and equipment.
Drain the ballast tanks, bilge, livewells and motor.
Dry (7 days summer, 18 days spring/fall and 30 days in the winter) or freeze (3 days).
Professional decontamination is an alternative method (generally a free service) available at many Utah waters. Certified personnel will wash your trailer and boat inside and out—flushing your ballast tanks, bilge, livewells and motor with high-pressure, scalding (140° F) water. This method is effective and does not harm your boat.
No matter which decontamination method you prefer, you should make a habit of completing the decontamination process after every boating trip. Your efforts will also help limit the spread of whirling disease.
When you visit a Utah lake or reservoir, be prepared to complete a decontamination certification form. The form requests information about your recent boating trips and decontamination efforts.
NEW: Complete the online Mussel-Aware Boater Program and receive a Decontamination Certification Form valid through the end of the calendar year
Your answers will help law enforcement personnel determine whether your boat needs to be professionally decontaminated. If you are asked to decontaminate your boat, please cooperate with onsite personnel and do your part to keep Utah's waters free of quagga and zebra mussels.
Utah boat-inspection personnel use decontamination seals to identify boats that were professionally decontaminated. These seals are blue, tamper-proof locks that secure a boat to its trailer with thin, braided-steel wire. Here's what you need to know:
- You will only receive one of these seals if your boat has been professionally decontaminated — using scalding, 140° F. water — and you are leaving the recreation area.
- After applying the seal, an inspection technician will sign your decontamination certification form and write the seal number on it.
- Leave the seal intact and keep the accompanying form.
- The next time you go boating, show your signed form and intact seal to the boat-inspection personnel. Before launching, you must also sign and date the form, and leave it in plain sight inside your launch vehicle. You should then be able to launch quickly and smoothly.
Because it offers proof of decontamination, this process will simplify and accelerate your access to Utah's waters.