DWR to set up checkpoints for boaters, anglers in spring

DWR officers will check boats for quagga and zebra mussels at checkpoints across Utah over the next few months. Boats that are carrying invasive mussels will be decontaminated. | Photo by Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

UTAH – The Division of Wildlife Resources will conduct administrative checkpoints for boaters and anglers across Utah this spring, summer and fall. At these checkpoints, officers will inspect watercraft and monitor compliance with the state’s fishing regulations.

Checkpoints will be near popular fishing and boating destinations or along roadways. Officers will focus on vehicles that are towing watercraft or carrying anglers.

Officers will also collect information from anglers about the number, type and size of the fish they caught.

Invasive mussels

Inspecting watercraft is part of the DWR’s plan to prevent the spread of quagga and zebra mussels. These aquatic invasive species form dense colonies that encrust almost any underwater surface. Their spread could ruin critical water and power facilities in the state.

Invasive mussels were discovered in Sand Hollow State Park in 2010. DNA tests conducted since then also indicate the mussels may still be in the reservoir. As such, Sand Hollow park officials ask that any boat, trailer, or gear that has been in the Sand Hollow reservoir within the last 30 days be decontaminated before being taken to another body of water.

Decontamination is free of charge through the DWR.

Why the concern?

The following are reasons why you should be concerned about quagga and zebra mussels:

•  Mussels can plug water lines, even very large diameter ones.

•  Mussels remove plankton from the water column, the same plankton that supports Utah’s sport fish and native fish.  The mussels could devastate fisheries in Utah.

•  Mussels can damage your boat by attaching themselves to your boat’s hull and fouling the boat’s engine cooling system.

•  When mussels die in large numbers, they stink.  And their sharp shells can cut your feet as you walk along the beaches where the mussels died.

For more information about aquatic invasive species, visit wildlife.utah.gov and search for “Utah’s AIS Management Plan.”

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • Ron Mealncon March 5, 2013 at 5:19 am

    How about all the defective boat trailers in the United States? No pin, Wrong Size hitch, no safety chains and all the poop trailers that have no standards.

    Every boat trailer and Every Utility Trailer in the United States have no National Standards anything goes.

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