QM Decontamination at Bullfrog

Discussion in 'Lake Powell Recreation' started by wayne gustaveson, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. wayne gustaveson

    wayne gustaveson Administrator Staff Member

    Decontaminating your boat at North Lake Powell
    Prevent the spread of quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species

    By decontaminating your boat, you help protect Utah’s water bodies against quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species (AIS). Here’s what to expect if you pull your boat out of Lake Powell-North Lake (Bullfrog and Hall’s Crossing).

    Cost, complexity and calling ahead

    Cost — Decontaminations are free of charge for watercrafts without attached quagga mussels, but they may take an extended period of time. Please be patient. If you choose to decontaminate elsewhere, check STDoftheSea.com for locations and call ahead to make a reservation. However, be advised that decontaminations are offered at other water bodies on a limited basis. Watercrafts with attached quagga mussels will be directed to a private company to have a decontamination where a fee will be applied. Note- Mussel encrusted boats leaving Hall’s Crossing will need to have the DWR perform the initial decontamination and, depending on the severity, it may need to be transported to a private company for additional decontamination. All mussel encrusted boats will be charged a fee to decontaminate.

    Complexity — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) can decontaminate watercraft up to the size of a cabin cruiser for those who do not have attached quagga mussels. All other boats will have to meet a 30-day dry time before launching again in Utah. All boats with attached mussels will require decontamination and must also meet the required dry time after decontamination. If the mussel encrustation is extensive, your boat may be placed in quarantine and directed to a private business in the Bullfrog area, where you will need to pay for the decontamination.

    Calling ahead — Make a decontamination reservation by calling DWR Biologist John Steffan at: 435-299-9562 or contacting the AIS technicians at Lot D, North Ramp or Hall's Crossing. Visit STDoftheSea.com for more information.

    Mandatory dry times within the State of Utah

    If you do not have your boat professionally decontaminated, your required dry time depends upon the time of year:

    · Summer (June through August): 7 days

    · Fall (September through November) and Spring (March through May): 18 days

    · Winter (December through February): 30 days

    Don’t forget: All ballast tanks, inboard motors and other internal raw-water systems have a dry time of 30 days.

    Operating hours: North Lake decontamination station

    If you plan to visit a North Lake decontamination station, please do so during daylight hours.
    Ryan and Endurance like this.
  2. Endurance

    Endurance Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the great info, Wayne. I had DNR inspect my boat yesterday at Bullfrog. I thanked them for positioning someone at the old ferry ramp that Executive Services likes to call the Executive Services ramp. It was a huge time saver. Since I knew what hatches to have open and what items to have out for inspection, I was in and out in about three minutes. If their decons are anywhere near as efficient as their inspections, this should be a smooth process.

    I have a question about one item in the news release:
    Do the "inboard motors" that require 30 days of dry time include Direct Drive, V-Drive, and I/O boats? if that's the case, the drying time will be 30 days year-round for pretty much all boats except boats that have outboards (or oars) that don't have livewells or ballasts.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  3. wayne gustaveson

    wayne gustaveson Administrator Staff Member

    I am reaching out to the AIS staff in Salt Lake City to get their answer to your question.
  4. Endurance

    Endurance Well-Known Member

    Thanks Wayne, for this and for all that you do constantly for the Lake Powell community.

    I have always had concern about the cooling system in my boat and every other direct drive, v-drive, and I/O on the lake from the point of water pickup, through the raw water pump, and all of the plumbing between them. Even if that water has to go through my recirculating water pump and my engine block the next time I launch my boat, it goes out into the lake before my engine ever gets near 140 degrees F.

    I will look forward to what you find out for all of us.
  5. wayne gustaveson

    wayne gustaveson Administrator Staff Member

    In short the answer is yes but with some exceptions.

    The UDWR rules are getting stricter and more decontaminations are being done throughout the state especially at Lake Powell.

    It was my understanding that the 30 day dry time is associated with water storage devices and unverifiable water. The watercraft most likely to have these devices and unverifiable water are watercraft with inboards, direct drives, V-drives and I/O Cabin Cruisers. The inboards, direct drives and V-drives are mostly associated with wakeboarding and there for a large number have water storage devices. That being said there are some inboards, direct drives and V-drives that do not have water storage devices but would still be subject to the 30 day dry time due to the unverifiable water in the engine or need professional decontamination.

    Cabin Cruisers are associated with other water storage devices such as A/C, bathrooms and other raw water devices that would contain unverifiable water and would be subject to the 30 day dry time or need professional decontamination (some decontamination locations cannot decontaminate cabin cruisers due to watercraft size restrictions).

    General I/O and outboards can be drained by the lowering of the lower unit to drain the water out and lowering the biological risk of transporting quagga mussels.

    I hope I was able to answer the question. There are a lot of grey areas and some watercrafts do not always fit in the black and white categories they should.

    I would encourage anyone that has questions about watercraft decontaminations or dry times to contact me.

    Thank you

    Adam Boehm

    Utah Department of Wildlife Resources

    Southern Region Aquatic Invasive Species Biologist

    Wahweap Lake Powell Location


    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
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  6. wayne gustaveson

    wayne gustaveson Administrator Staff Member

    Bumping this up so the above reply can be seen. I thank Adam Boehm for working on this with the staff at Bullfrog and in Salt Lake.
  7. Endurance

    Endurance Well-Known Member

    Thanks to Wayne and to Adam. Let's hope and pray that no dominoes fall after Lake Powell.
  8. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

    Here is what we recently received. Still have questions. Are they going to require houseboats that are pulled out for maintenance at Off Shore to be decontaminated? I called and left a message for John.

    Attached Files:

  9. Kevin G

    Kevin G Member

    Utah Department of Wildlife Resources: Just be reasonable. If a boat is not leaving Lake Powell, or is always stored at Offshore Marina, let us go without having to go through a big circus or clogging up the system for people who are transporting their boats home and really need it. If you make it inconvenient for everyone, you will get more noncompliance. If you make it reasonable and have people who are actually taking watercraft away from the lake, people will understand and comply. Houseboats rarely leave Lake Powell. If they go back and forth to Offshore for maintenance, so what? A timeshare that needs a new lower unit installed because someone hit a rock shouldn't have to be out of service for several weeks so mussels can die. Keep in mind people pay many thousands of dollars for their one week a year on their timeshare at Lake Powell. A houseboat with mussels attached getting a fast turnaround for a repair so the next users in line get their family vacation (one they've typically been planning for months with friends and family) pose no more risk than the thousand other houseboats sitting in the water with mussels attached to them. And maybe a few of the little buggers get bounced off going back and forth on the road. Just be reasonable...
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  10. Squirrel

    Squirrel Well-Known Member

    It is still on the "honor system" at Bullfrog. We stayed at the BF campground 2 weeks ago. The check station personnel said since we were staying at the campground we didn't have to go thru the check station every day we pulled the boat. We could have very easily just left the next day without going thru the decon. process before going back to Offshore, but we got inspected like everyone is supposed to. It was over the weekend of the bass tourney and there was a waiting line.
    We just drove by the check station without anyone stopping us. Sq
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  11. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    Hey Kevin,

    So we have a version of the local boater sticker program that is in place in Page. What I tell my technicians (sorry if they haven't been doing this) is to check the tongue of the trailer for an offshore decal. If an offshore decal is in place and we (DWR) are told by the boater that you are leaving it at Offshore and returning to Powell then we grab your information, quickly seal the boat and tell you the drill on the new plug law, and send you on your way without a full inspection. I have a new staff this year and will make this a point of emphasize to push "locals" through. However, we, as the Southeast region, still want to make note that you came through in case you do end up taking the boat somewhere else that we have record of you coming to Lake Powell. In two years of working at Bullfrog I can tell you that there are a number of trailers with offshore decals that no longer keep their boat there, or don't keep it there year-round.

    Right now that is the direction that we feel works best. I understand your frustration in waiting in lines, and maybe we end up doing a full local boater sticker program in the future with offshore, bullfrog and JNB dry docked boats, but for now this is the "new normal". We already let boats in Bullfrog dry storage go without inspections as they are not leaving the park (also have decals), but if they do end up leaving we ask them to come through the inspection station as it is illegal not to stop if we are open and operating.

    Contrary to the belief that we stop all houseboats and cabin cruisers heading to offshore and JNB, the DWR does not check many houseboats (I've done 3 in 2 years) unless they are going somewhere past Ticaboo or Hall's Crossing then they are subject to an inspection like everyone else. Houseboats and cabin cruisers that are being hauled by JNB or Offshore (vast majority of boaters) have Commercial User Agreements in place between the local hauling companies and DWR law enforcement. The commercial businesses must notify the DWR weekly of boats they are hauling (see my decontamination thread for more details).

    Hope this clears some things up for you and others.

    John Steffan- UDWR AIS Interdiction Specialist Southeast Region
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  12. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    Hey Squirrel,

    I'm glad that you posted this.

    For anyone going to Bullfrog we do allow people that are staying within the park to go without daily inspections as long as they are staying in the park. We do work off of the honor this system this way where we allow those staying in Stanton Creek, the campgrounds in Bullfrog and the Lodge (etc..) to go without daily inspections as they are not leaving GCNRA, but are required like everyone else to stop at the inspection station on their last day of a visit to LP as it is required if we are open and operating.

    Because I know that I will be asked this, we ask that those staying in Ticaboo to come through so we can make note that they came to Lake Powell, but won't require a full inspection until the day of departure as long as we make note that they have come through and we give a receipt stating they came through. Similar to the Bullfrog boaters they need to stop on their last day as well as everyone else leaving the recreation area for a full inspection. *We teach technicians that a receipt is only valid with a seal and vice versa if you were to go to another water, and law enforcement knows what we're doing locally. Similar to us sealing and making a quick contact with Offshore boaters who leave when there trip is done we want to make note that someone left the GCNRA, but don't need to take up much of their (your) time on boaters immediately returning to LP.

    I feel this is beneficial to both sides as we are trying to be as reasonable as we can for boaters while still making note of boats that have been to
    Lake Powell.

    Hopefully this clears things up for anyone wondering about this. If people have questions you are always to come down to Lot D and ask the DWR or NPS staff.
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  13. Kevin G

    Kevin G Member

    John - Thank you for your reply. I appreciate this site for being able to discuss issues with reasonable people such as yourself.

    In response to your comment, I have to say I am somewhat frustrated that there is a different process at the north end of the lake as compared to a convenience made available to boaters at the south end. A "local boater" sticker program for boaters who store their boats at Offshore and JNB would solve this problem, entirely. Not sure why this is only been offered to south lake boaters?

    As far as what the technicians are doing, respectfully no - they are not following any simplified process if you are storing at Offshore. They've been making you lower your drives, inspecting the engine compartment, asking about AC and generators - basically the full on process that takes a long time.

    Understand your point about storage stickers on trailers that no longer store at Offshore, but how is this different from "Local Boater" stickers in use in Page that are no longer local boaters. It happens down there, too. A best practice for cutting some of that off might be to have Offshore have boaters place a different color sticker on their trailer every year. Seriously, the best thing we can do here is pare down risk - at this point there's no way to completely eliminate it. The cat is out of the bag on this one, and nature is going to run it's course.

    I hear what you are saying about this "informal" ok to go back and forth between Ticaboo and Offshore. But when the penalties in place are so punishing, an "informal" ok is hardly comforting.

    I use Offshore's launch and retrieval service. But here's how I like to use it: I prefer to tow my boat back/forth to Offshore with my own vehicle, and just have them put me in and take me out of the water. The reason is this: it's impossible to clean your boat at Offshore. With their dirt parking lot, the dust is so bad up there that while you are trying to clean up your boat, other vehicles drive through and kick up so much dust you might as well just forget about cleaning your boat and let it fall apart. My preference is to clean up and button down the top on the asphalt in the park, then drop it off at Offshore with the tops on. So it gives the appearance that I'm just by-passing the the decontamination station, when in fact I'm using their "Commercial Agreement" to launch.

    It would make a lot of sense to give Offshore and JNB boaters the same level of respect/responsibility granted to dry storage and south lake boaters (with local boater sticker). Formal enforcement of these policies should occur past Ticaboo & Offshore.

    Thank you.
  14. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member


    Thanks for your insight. I agree that this forum is a great way to interact. This personally gives me the opportunity to inform and receive feedback with LP boaters.

    Although I feel from my experience that our hybridized local boater sticker works, you're probably more on the pulse with most other Offshore boaters and their thoughts. I will seriously consider your thoughts on a local boater sticker program on the Bullfrog side and see if I can incorporate JNB, Offshore and Bullfrog/HC dry dock into that. I'm not making promises this will happen, but I will pass it up the chain and get feedback. Keep in mind that I have bosses too. Although I have ideas and people on these forums like yourself will have great insight and ideas as well, there are people who are above me on the chain of command that must sign off as well.

    As far as Ticaboo Lodge goes, (without going into too much detail) we got burned real bad in 2015 with people saying "I'm going to Ticaboo". We have to have some kind of accountability there. That said there are some other ideas in order to account for those really heading to Ticaboo that would streamline their process than what is in place currently. Maybe it goes into play soon, but maybe it doesn't. As of right now though the policy that we have in place is what we feel comfortable with. This of course could change, but for now what I stated in an earlier post is how we want to proceed, and what I want those visiting Bullfrog to be aware of.

    Thanks again for your insight. I'm sure I we have likely seen each other at Lot D and didn't know it, but if you ever wanted to say hi and chat while you're in Bullfrog my number is listed at the top of the thread in Wayne's original post.

    Hope this helps and hopefully you'll be able to get out and enjoy all the water we'll be receiving in LP this year.

  15. JAKEdotBIKE

    JAKEdotBIKE Member

    John (and/or anyone else who may have the answer):

    I last had my boat in LP (in August 2016). It is a wake/surf boat with ballast (both hard tanks and sacks). The decon took 48 minutes and I thought was very thorough. The staff were fantastic and the process was well-executed. I was told that I could take my boat directly to another lake in Utah since I had the decon and the certificate. Now, the boat has been in dry storage since then, so no issues to launch wherever this spring. While I understand the concern with the "unverifiable water" water issue (I've wondered about this issue myself a lot), I do have/see a couple of questions/issues:

    1. When they performed the decon, they ran the water through my engine, filled my ballast sacks, and also filled my hard tanks (among other areas/items). From reading the above, it sounds like this is no longer sufficient and I must still wait 30 days the next time I pull out of Lake Powell, is that correct? If so, why bother with the decon process at all if I have to wait 30 days even in the dead of summer? If this is the requirement, I don't know anyone who complies, and I suspect the compliance rate is in the single digits. Again, not an issue for me because I haven't had my boat out since August, but if we make a return trip to LP I'd like to be sure I'm in compliance (even if I'm the only one!). If it's a 30 day requirement for my boat and all boats like it, then it seems the decon staff should skip those boats (and conserve the resources/cut down on the wait lines).

    2. I just re-took the online annual certification. There is no mention of a 30 day waiting period for unverifiable water boats (the info and test use the 7/18/30 seasonal with no wait if professionally decontaminated). If there really is a 30 day wait for some/most boats (inboards/livewells/ballasts), then that info should be incorporated into the test ASAP before the bulk of Utah boaters start reading it and taking the test this spring. In fact, now that I think about it, we took kayaks to Sand Hollow last month, and they were handing out the 7/18/30/decon flyer that makes no mention of a 30 day dry for inboard/livewell/ballast boats, so that should be updated too, given that I imagine most boaters are going to get their info from the online test and/or the flyers.

    Thanks in advance.

  16. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    Hey Jake,

    I can understand the confusion on this issue. I have had to explain this to a number of people including other DWR employees so you're definitely not the only one who has asked for further clarity on this issue. The wording on some of our press releases has led to some confusion, so hopefully this helps everyone.

    For boats with unverifiable water, such as the ones you described, you need to EITHER have a full decontamination of the equipment with hot water by DNR personnel OR wait the 30 day dry time. It is not both. The 30 day dry time is to follow guidelines where research suggests that veligers could live up to a month in standing water such as ballast tanks. Since we can't see in, and nonetheless remove water from, hard shell tanks due to the location of most pumps/hoses on hard shell tanks we went with a 30 day dry time as opposed the the dry times for the time of year with other water craft such as a fishing boat.

    The only watercraft that require both a decontamination and to sit a dry time are those that are found to have attached mussels. The dry time for these is the dry time of the time of year in addition to full decontamination.

    We will make this a point of emphasis for our technicians in our statewide trainings to understand these new rules.

    Sorry for the confusion, but hopefully this helps. In your example above you would be fully compliant and would be allowed to launch elsewhere in the state after that type of decontamination.
  17. JAKEdotBIKE

    JAKEdotBIKE Member


    Great info--your explanation is consistent with my understanding prior to me reading this thread :) Thanks for the quick and insightful response--very helpful!

  18. AndoCalrissian

    AndoCalrissian New Member

    John -

    Can you give us some insight on the details of this "local boater sticker" for the south end of the lake in Page? We keep our boat in an RV garage in Page year round 24/7 and we are from Phoenix. We only boat at LP. The boat is always kept at the Antelope Rec Storage Center when not on the lake. Typically our trips can be 6-7 days in length. Can we apply for a local boater sticker? Am I taking this too literally; suggestion and input are welcome. We are trying to understand so we know how to comply. Thank you.
  19. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member


    I reached out to the Page area Interdiction Specialist, Julie Sabbatis, and she wrote the following:

    The local boat program at southern Lake Powell is in place for technicians to easily identify boats that pose a low risk to transporting aquatic invasive species to clean (uninfested) bodies of water. Low risk boats are ones that reside or are stored locally (the Page area) and are only used on Lake Powell. Applications for the sticker program can be obtained at State Line, Wahweap or Anteleope Point ramps or you can contact Julie Sabattis at jsabattis@utah.gov for an electronic version. The application requires the boater to fill out contact/boat information, a short quiz signed by the boater and a printed certificate that the boater has completed Utah's Mussel Aware Boater Course program that can be found at stdofthesea.com. Any boater who stores their boat locally will also need to submit a copy of their storage rental agreement to verify the boat is housed locally. If there are any other questions, Julie can be reached at 435-592-9723.

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  20. riflemike

    riflemike New Member

    I just pulled my cruiser out of the water after a 17 month stay. I'm getting some work done at OSM. I had just a couple of mussels on the side of the boat but they were congregated on the stern. At the BF decontamination station, I explained what I was doing and they were very helpful and quick about getting me through. They took several samples off. Unfortunately, the mussels are here to stay. I'm having trouble with my port motor in losing RPMs and over heating while on plane. I'm sure the mussels are the cause.