Boaters required to stop at aquatic invasive species inspection stations; Free inspection takes five to 10 minutes

Photo Credit: Courtesy of ODFW

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

SALEM, Ore. – All watercraft entering Oregon are required to be inspected at an aquatic invasive species station when the stations are open. Failure to stop at an open station could result in a $110 fine.

Inspection stations located in Ashland and Ontario are open year-round and seasonal stations in Brookings, Klamath Falls, Lakeview and Umatilla are now operational.

All vehicles towing or carrying motorized or non-motorized boats, including canoes, kayaks, and even paddleboards must stop. This includes commercial watercraft.

Inspections for aquatic invasive species typically take five to 10 minutes and drivers are not required to get out of their vehicles. Please turn off vehicles during inspection to make it easier for the inspector and driver to hear each other and maintain physical distance. 
Watercraft found with aquatic invasive species attached to the vessel are decontaminated on the spot. Both boat inspections and decontaminations are free.

"People who stop at these stations are directly contributing to our success in keeping aquatic invasive zebra and quagga mussels, snails and aquatic plants out of Oregon," said Rick Boatner, ODFW Invasive Species Supervisor.

Inspecting boats coming into the state is the first line of defense in keeping aquatic invasive species such as zebra or quagga mussels, snails and aquatic plants out of Oregon. These invaders can cost millions in damage to water delivery systems and serious environmental damage to our rivers, lakes and native aquatic species.

"Everyone who boats needs to make sure they always practice Clean, Drain, and Dry. All boaters and anglers should be vigilant about cleaning and drying all their gear after each use," Boatner said.

Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permits or Waterway Access Permit are required for most boaters in Oregon. Both resident and non-resident, non-motorized boats (paddlecraft) ten feet and longer require a Waterway Access Permit. All non-resident motorized boats require an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention permit. Resident motorized boat permits are included in the Oregon boater registration fee. 
Permit sales provide funding for the six boat inspection stations throughout Oregon.

So far this year, crews have inspected 3,796 boats and intercepted 41 vessels with other types of bio-fouling besides quagga or zebra mussels. Inspectors have also hot-water decontaminated three watercraft with quagga or zebra mussels and one boat with Conrad false mussels.

In 2020, the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program inspected 23,040 watercraft; intercepted 264 with other type of aquatic bio-fouling beside quagga or zebra mussel and performed 12 hot water decontamination on boats intercepted with quagga or zebra mussels.

Permits can be purchased on-line at either the Oregon State Marine Board website or with ODFW Electronic License system.  

Invasive species imagery and illustration available here: 
Photos and captions:

Zebra mussels intercepted on a vessel's hose system decontaminated at the Ontario check station on Feb. 7, 2021. ODFW photo.

Free and only takes about 10 minutes, the aquatic invasive species prevention check station at Brookings helps keep Oregon's water's clean. 

ODFW photo.

A boat is decontaminated at the free and quick aquatic invasive species check station April 2020. ODFW photo.

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