Idaho has increased the number of mandatory watercraft inspection stations that are open in the Panhandle to three with two more opening in May.
All boats will be inspected for standing water and signs of quagga and zebra mussels. Inspectors will ask boaters where their craft has been in the previous 30 days.
All boats should be clean, drained and dry when they arrive in Idaho.
Inspection stations opened so far by the state Agriculture Department include:
• Cedars, on westbound Interstate 90 at Fourth of July Pass.
• Huetter Rest Stop, on westbound I-90 between Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene, operating Friday, Saturday and Sunday until May 15 when it will begin opening daily.
• Garwood, moved this year to Highway 53 (Trent) near the state line, open on same schedule as Huetter station.
These stations will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. through Sept. 9.
The stations at Old Town on Highway 2 east of Newport and at Samuels on Highway 95 north of Sandpoint, are set to open on May 15.
The inspections are enforced to keep invasive mussels out of Idaho’s waters. Zebra and quagga mussels are prolific breeders, attaching themselves to hard surfaces where they clog intake pipes and foul freshwater ecosystems.
The mussels have infested the Great Lakes. In recent years, they’ve been found in parts of Nevada, Utah, California, Arizona and Colorado.