It's Up to Us to Stop the Spread of Invasive Aquatic Species

As boaters, we all share a wondrous resource – the rivers, lakes and seas of this amazing planet. And it’s up to each of us to do our best to preserve this resource.

Aquatic invasive species of plants and animals are threatening the ecology of many of our waterways. Each of us can do our part by learning what these nasty pests are and what we can do to halt their spread. We gave info on a couple of these invaders in the Help Prevent the Spread of Invasive Aquatic Species in a previous e-News issue. Other sources of information are state wildlife and ecology departments and searches on the internet.

And please note:

Many states are enacting rules and regulations to force good watershed stewardship. Idaho is raising money to fund programs to prevent the introduction of invasive species by requiring all boaters to purchase Idaho Invasive Species Fund stickers before launching a boat in the state.

And in 2011, the Forest Service assisted the state by requiring boats launching on the Middle Fork and Main Salmon Rivers and the Hells Canyon stretch of the Snake River have the Idaho sticker. Additionally, on the Middle Fork, there are steps being taken to ensure boats are free of invasive pests. In order to help protect the spawning population of Chinook salmon, Forest Service personnel perform extensive onsite inspections of boats before they will be allowed to be put in the water.

Here’s an excerpt of the Middle Fork rules:

Effective immediately, all boats must be screened before going into the eddy. Boaters must establish contact with Forest Service Launch Site Personnel during normal business hours to obtain approval to put their boats in the water…

“Launch Site Personnel will determine the relative risk by first going through the Low Risk criteria. If boat meets one or more of these criteria, they will likely authorize access to the eddy. Otherwise, they will review for High Risk criteria and perform an inspection before the craft is allowed to launch.

Low Risk (meets one or more of these criteria) 

  • Boat has not been out of Idaho in last 30 days.
  • Boat is only used or last used on the Middle Fork (including take-out at Cache Bar).
  • Boat appears to be Clean & Dry. (Road mud may be discounted if owner states that boat was clean and dry prior to driving in; same applies if raining.)
  • Owner of the boat is aware of the Clean, Drain & Dry requirement and states it has been followed (boat has been dry 5 or more days).

 High Risk 

  • Boat is from out of state (or has been out of state within the last 30 days).
  • Boat has been in multiple waters.
  • Boat appears to have mud, slime, plants, mussels and/or snails on it.
  • Boat appears to have standing water in it.*
  • Owner is not aware of the Clean, Drain & Dry requirement.

               *= Drift boats, kayaks and canoes more likely to have standing water.”

If you have questions about these requirements, please contact the proper ranger station that administers the river section.

Learn about invasive species and how to halt their spread. Do your part to keep our waters pristine and clean!

Have a great boating season and…

Boat Safe