Daily Fly —
Only five months into the year, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) aquatic invasive watercraft inspection stations staff have already inspected over 5,500 watercraft; 11 of which were fouled with invasive zebra and/or quagga mussels.
WDFW’s check stations are part of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission Columbia River Basin Team watercraft inspection network. Four Pacific Northwest states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana), along with British Columbia and Alberta, make up a network of inspection stations that protect the Columbia River from introductions of zebra and quagga mussels. The stations work cooperatively to share and track watercraft fouled with invasive mussels.
“The busiest part of the boating season hasn’t started yet and crews are already making progress in keeping fouled boats out of Washington water bodies and potentially preventing an infestation of aquatic invasive species,” said Captain Eric Anderson, WDFW aquatic invasive species enforcement program lead. “At this rate, we expect to deal with more boats than ever this year and possibly more that are fouled with invasive species.”