June 17, 2010 in City, Idaho

State checking for invasive species

The Spokesman-Review

Boaters may be stopped by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers conducting mandatory checks of boats, trailers and gear for aquatic invasive species.

The annual check stations and patrols have begun in several parts of the state. The goal is to keep zebra mussels, quagga mussels and other non-native species out of Washington’s waters. Once established, the mussels multiply quickly, threatening native species and clogging water intake systems at irrigation districts, power plants and public water districts.

Last year, officials seized a 24-foot boat in Spokane contaminated with quagga mussels from Lake Mead, Nev. Importing an aquatic weed is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. Knowingly importing an invasive species to Washington is a felony that can result in even stiffer penalties.

Get stories like this in a free daily email

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus