Boaters must stop at mandatory inspection stations

As boaters eagerly anticipate Memorial Day weekend, Division of Wildlife Resources officers and biologists share two important reminders:

A DWR technician decontaminates a boat near Sand Hollow Reservoir.

A DWR technician decontaminates a boat near Sand Hollow Reservoir.

Photo by Lynn Chamberlain

1. Utah has three mandatory inspection stations. The stations have been established to protect Utah's waters from quagga mussels. If you're pulling or transporting watercraft, including boats, personal watercraft (such as Jet Skis and Wave Runners), canoes, kayaks or float tubes, you must stop at the stations. If you don't, you'll likely receive a citation. Then, the officer who cited you will direct you back to the station to get your watercraft inspected.

The stations will be in operation throughout the summer.

2. Quagga mussels are spreading in Lake Powell. And juvenile quagga mussels were detected in Deer Creek Reservoir two years ago. If you boat on either water, you must remove the drain plugs from your boat and leave them out until you get home. Leaving the plugs out will help ensure that all of the water in the boat drains out as you're traveling down the road.

(Quagga mussels have not been detected in Deer Creek since the initial discovery in a water sample collected in fall 2014. If quaggas aren't detected this boating season, containment efforts at Deer Creek will be lifted. "Boaters at Deer Creek should continue to be vigilant," cautions Nate Owens, aquatic invasive species (AIS) coordinator for the DWR. "All it takes is one negligent boater to infest Deer Creek and take us back to square one — or worse.")

Locations

Mandatory inspection stations are located at the following areas:

In addition to the inspection stations, DWR officers and biologists also conduct administrative checkpoints along traffic routes that lead out of the Bullfrog and Wahweap marina areas at Lake Powell.

"The officers and biologists check boats for attached quagga and zebra mussels, and for standing water," Owens says. "They also examine boats to ensure the drain plugs have been removed and have not been reinstalled. Citations are issued for violating any of these rules."

Why the concern?

There are many reasons why Utahns don't want quagga mussels, or their cousins, zebra mussels, in the state: