The Colorado Division of Wildlife reminds boaters visiting Vallecito Reservoir, McPhee Reservoir and Navajo Reservoir, that mandatory boat inspections for aquatic nuisance species will start at these locations on Monday, May 2, and continue through Saturday, Oct. 15.
Trailered boats are prohibited from launching on the reservoirs until inspections start.
With the boat inspections over the last few years, the Division of Wildlife has been successful at preventing quagga and zebra mussels from getting into local reservoirs, Jim White, aquatic biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife in the Durango area, said in a written statement from the division. Boaters have been very cooperative with state inspectors, but we need to remain diligent.
Mussels have caused major environmental and infrastructure damage to the Great Lakes and other waters in the Midwest, according to the division of wildlife. By consuming phytoplankton in the water, these tiny aquatic invertebrates can destroy the food supply for fish. They also clog the infrastructure of water systems.
Boats must be inspected every time they enter the water. The inspection is conducted at no charge and typically takes less than five minutes.
White reminds boaters that mussels can only survive in wet environments. The division of wildlife urges boaters to clean, drain and dry their watercraft every time it comes out of the water: clean all mud off boats and trailers, drain water from the bottom of the boat, and drain and dry all live wells and bilge.
We urge boaters to follow this simple motto, clean, drain and dry, White said. If your boat shows up at the ramp in good condition, then the inspection goes very quickly.
Inspectors will be at the boat ramps at these waters from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Boats cant be launched after inspectors leave for the day.
Mandatory inspections also take place at waters throughout Colorado. For a list of all inspection sites and schedules, and for more information about boat inspections and aquatic nuisance species, go to http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/MandatoryBoatInspections.htm.
On the Net: Colorado Division of Wildlife, http://wildlife.state.co.us.