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Zebra Mussels on Boat Propeller

Ahhhh! Spring is finally here! Boat manufacturers, marinas, and dealers alike are gearing up for the busiest season of the year: building, selling, transporting, and maintaining boats all over the US and Canada.

Many of you, particularly in the Northwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast sections of the US, are well aware of the invasive aquatic species known as zebra or quagga mussels. There is a Federal law known as the Lacey Act that makes it illegal to transport certain invasive species across state lines, or across international borders into the United States.

A number of states have enacted legislation to combat the spreading of these invasive species and have been actively enforcing these laws. Boat transporters and brokers, sellers, and auctioneers have a particular role to play to fight the spread.

Check Boats and Trailers for MusselsWe recently received information regarding the best practices to follow to prevent the spread of these invasive species. It comes from the cooperative efforts of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, and other groups.

They cite three simple steps to follow to prepare any boat sold or being prepped for overland transport in order to minimize any delays or fines due to zebra or quagga mussels: CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY.

Further, more complete information can be found at www.westernais.org/moving-a-boat

Although this information was provided by organizations from the Northwest US, additional information is available from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and from many other organizations, including the US Geological Survey and the Department of Natural Resources in many states. An internet search will provide many choices of informative material regarding these invasive aquatic species.

As a transport company, our loads our inspected at different weigh stations across the US and Canada and we have been delayed due to the presence of zebra mussels on boats being transported. Not a fun experience!

Please do your part to prevent the spreading of these invasive species and in keeping our waterways safe and clean for all to enjoy!