Friday, April 9, 2010

Wyoming Requires Invasive Species Decals

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has announced a new initiative to hit aquatic invasive species where it counts. In an effort to protect Wyoming’s valuable water resources, the state legislature allocated $1.5 million to the department to implement newprograms aimed at preventing the introduction of quagga and zebra mussels to Wyoming waters. Quagga and zebra mussels can ruin fisheries; clog boat motor cooling systems; foul watercraft hulls and equipment; and clog water delivery systems used for power plants, irrigation and domestic water use. Quagga and zebra mussels are not known to occur in Wyoming but are present in three neighboring states. They can be transported on boats and trailers.

WGFD Director Steve Ferrell says, “The strong message from Wyoming’s legislature is that they don’t want these destructive aquatic invasive species in our waters. We are very fortunate to have the support and backing from our elected officials so we can proactively take
aggressive measures to keep Wyoming clean of quagga and zebra mussels.”
Based on direction from the legislature, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has implemented emergency regulations to address the aquatic invasive species threat. The legislation gives the commission authority to inspect boats and to prevent the launching of boats suspected of harboring invasive species.

The decals cost as little as $5 for non-motorized crafts and $10 for motorized, for Wyoming residents. Boaters must display the decal or bear a receipt before launching on any Wyoming waterway. Inflatables smaller than 10 feet are exempt from the regulation.

Decals can be purchased on the Game and Fish Web site beginning April 15 and at license selling agents starting May 17.

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