Questions on Quagga Mussel Procedures for UDWR Response

Discussion in 'Lake Powell Issues' started by wayne gustaveson, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. wayne gustaveson

    wayne gustaveson Administrator Staff Member

    If you have questions on inspections, decontaminations, law enforcement, or anything else related to QM: ask here and I will have those in charge offer more information.
     
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  2. Pegasus

    Pegasus Well-Known Member

    Wayne, could you inform me (and hopefully help others) as to what the proper procedure is if I am pulling out a boat at the APM public ramp (or any LP ramp) and the boat has mussels attached to the exterior hull (none interior/bilge)? i.e. am I legal to pull the boat home to clean it? Or only into Page?

    What I'm specifically asking is "what is required to be 'legal' and not get in trouble if stopped during the drive home". I'm not asking how to clean/decon the boat correctly as that has been covered elsewhere, just what is required to be done to legally tow the boat from LP to, in my case, SLC today.

    I did see the new rules being implemented soon that address this question, but until then, what do you or your team recommend? Thanks, Doug
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  3. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    Pegasus,

    My name is John Steffan. I am the interdiction specialist at the Bullfrog-Hall's Crossing area. I believe that I can help answer your questions. This may be a long post and I may be ambiguous in some of my wording, so please feel free to ask more questions if this does not clear things up.

    Wayne, could you inform me (and hopefully help others) as to what the proper procedure is if I am pulling out a boat at the APM public ramp (or any LP ramp) and the boat has mussels attached to the exterior hull (none interior/bilge)? i.e. am I legal to pull the boat home to clean it? Or only into Page?


    Although I am not as familiar with the down lake area, particularly Arizona laws, I will give you the general requirements that state of Utah has in place. Upon retrieval of a mussel encrusted watercraft the boater (or transporter) needs to inform the UDWR of their intentions to move a mussel encrusted watercraft so that we can document that a mussel encrusted watercraft is moving out of Lake Powell (you can call the UDWR ahead of time so that we are aware of your plans and work on arranging an inspection and decontamination). Upon receiving this information, we would then send you to a local private decontamination company- in your case Mussel Busters- for a professional decontamination. The state of Utah does not recognize a decontamination or removal of mussels that was not performed by someone that has not gone through the proper training and can verify that the correct procedures were performed. The state of Utah does not allow individuals to move vessels with attached Quagga Mussels within the state. It breaks state law and wildlife rules. See Below:
    Effective 5/13/2014
    23-27-201. Invasive species prohibited -- Administrative inspection authorized.
    (1) Except as authorized in this title or a board rule or order, a person may not:
    (a) possess, import, export, ship, or transport a Dreissena mussel;
    (b) release, place, plant, or cause to be released, placed, or planted a Dreissena mussel in a water body, facility, or water supply system; or
    (c) transport a conveyance or equipment that has been in an infested water within the previous 30 days without decontaminating the conveyance or equipment.
    (2) A person who violates Subsection (1):
    (a) is strictly liable;
    (b) is guilty of an infraction; and
    (c) shall reimburse the state for all costs associated with detaining, quarantining, and decontaminating the conveyance or equipment.
    (3) A person who knowingly or intentionally violates Subsection (1) is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
    (4) A person may not proceed past or travel through an inspection station or administrative checkpoint, as described in Section 23-27-301, while transporting a conveyance during an inspection station's or administrative checkpoint's hours of operations without presenting the conveyance for inspection.
    (5) A person who violates Subsection (4) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

    What I'm specifically asking is "what is required to be 'legal' and not get in trouble if stopped during the drive home". I'm not asking how to clean/decon the boat correctly as that has been covered elsewhere, just what is required to be done to legally tow the boat from LP to, in my case, SLC today. I did see the new rules being implemented soon that address this question, but until then, what do you or your team recommend?

    The new rules of leaving your plug out in transport and the requirement of meeting a dry time in addition to the full decontamination of a mussel encrusted boat will be in place shortly. These new requirements are in addition to the legal requirement not to move a mussel in the state of Utah. The state law does not allow dreissenid mussels to be transported has been around for several years. A professional decontamination must be performed prior to transporting it in the state of Utah. I would call Mussel Busters-(928) 660-0942 ASAP if you are moving this watercraft today. If you have questions or need help with this process please call me at 435-299-9562.
     
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  4. Pegasus

    Pegasus Well-Known Member

    John, thanks for your quick response. This is exactly the information I needed. -Doug
     
  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy Member

    John, does it cost the boater to have there boat cleaned by Mussel Busters? If so what is the cost?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  6. Powelldreamer

    Powelldreamer Well-Known Member

    Mussel Busters is a private for profit business. Yes there is a charge.
     
  7. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    Ziggy,

    Powelldreamer is correct. Mussel Busters as well as the companies up lake (Offshore Marina and JNB Marine) are for profit businesses and will charge a fee to decontaminate watercraft.
     
  8. DreamWeaver

    DreamWeaver Member

    I keep my boats at Bullfrog dry storage. Does the inspection rule apply to boats being transported to and from the Lake to Bullfrog dry storage, or only to boats actually leaving the GCNRA?
     
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  9. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    DreamWeaver,

    Thanks for the question. This will be a good chance to clarify my earlier post.

    If the watercraft is not leaving the GCNRA, (using your example) and you are just pulling it out to store it on site then the UDWR does not need to inspect it. However, you will be required to remove visible mussels on the watercraft before re-launching at Lake Powell. The NPS will verify this upon launching (You could also come down to Lot D where technicians or myself could look over the watercraft). We (they) understand it is nearly impossible to remove every mussel, but a good faith effort needs to be applied here on the owner or transporters end to remove as many mussels as possible.

    Commercial haulers such as Big Water, Offshore Marina and JNB Marine are also exempt from inspection of every boat they haul out to their place of business because they have agreements with regional state of Utah law enforcement that notifies them every time they move slipped or moored watercraft.
    *A quick note on this, the company driver's in marked vehicles are exempt from the inspection because we are already notified of their movements, but if a personal owner of a watercraft is moving said watercraft outside of the park's boundaries to Ticaboo or Big Water for dry storage only to return to Lake Powell then they still need to come in for an inspection for several reasons, but mostly so the state can verify their plans prior to being on the highway with a mussel boat.

    Hope that makes sense. If it something needs further clarification please feel free to ask.
     
  10. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

    Can you explain the reasoning behind the above? If I have a houseboat that is slipped at Bullfrog, and have it pulled to Offshore to have work done, why does it have to be cleaned of mussels prior to relaunch?

    It just seems like an unnecessary expense considering the lake is already infected.
     
  11. wayne gustaveson

    wayne gustaveson Administrator Staff Member

    John is reaching out to other agencies to make sure to answer this correctly.
     
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  12. Freshwater

    Freshwater New Member

    Will there be an inspection station at Halls Crossing as there was in the past. I will be leaving the state from Halls Crossing and will be inspected at the border upon entering Idaho.
     
  13. capt.catfish

    capt.catfish Well-Known Member

    I think I know the answer to this, but, with respect to removing the bilge plug for transport, what is the policy if you have a self-bailing bilge plug like the flapper assembly below (I have this on my little 14-ft tin boat). Would you be required to remove it for transport?

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Ejespady35

    Ejespady35 Active Member

    Was at Navajo Lake on the Colorado side this weekend, The Inspection folks said that they would honor Utah's inspection, as long as all the paper work was there and nothing seem fishy.
     
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  15. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    Hey all,

    Thanks for all of your questions. Sorry I have not responded sooner to your questions, but I will get to each soon. I should have stated from my first response how I plan on running this thread. What I would like to see this thread become is essentially a mailbag where you all submit questions throughout the week, and I do a Friday response. So, if I have not responded to your question I will respond Friday along with everyone else's. Again thanks for the questions and certainly keep them coming.
     
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  16. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for the question. I get this one a lot and I totally understand where you and others are coming from. In order to answer your question with the most accurate information I reached out to NPS and Utah DWR officials for their thoughts in addition to my own. Most of this came directly from NPS personnel who have been around for many years.

    I’m using their thoughts in addition to my own takes below:

    The most basic answer is that people should only launch clean equipment. This really should apply anywhere (following the Clean, Drain and Dry message), but obviously within a National Park Service unit it would be a basic part of responsible stewardship.

    The most real answer is that if cleaning before launching were not required, it could become willy-nilly dirty boat launching all day long. The damage to park resources might be minimal if it is only Lake Powell messes that are launched back in, but to assure that, we would need some sort of system for confirmation that a dirty boat's mess is from Lake Powell and Lake Powell only to prevent additional AIS. I’ll give an example here: Let’s say we have a Quagga encrusted boat entering Lake Powell, and in this scenario, there was no rule about launching encrusted boats in Lake Powell because we are already infested. In this scenario the described watercraft was allowed to launch. Without verifying that this boat is clean and where it came from it actually came from Lake Havasu where we know there are other AIS we don’t want in the Curly-leaf Pondweed and Eurasian Watermilfoil. Although Lake Powell has arguably the worst freshwater invasive species in the Quagga Mussel there are other species of concern and only launching clean vessels helps us control that.

    There is also a worry that some people might start launching for the purpose of cleaning their boat; falling off is probably one of the first things newly launched crusty or dying mussel will do, and we are already worried enough about oxygen depletion at depth from mussel decomposition. We don't know if we will find problems with masses of shells building up on ramps eventually, but we feel confident that launching dirty would contribute more to that than retrieving dirty. There is a lot of material online that you can find to read up on oxygen depletion and it’s affects on lakes/reservoirs.

    Also important to us is that what we do contributes to the overall improvement in understanding of the AIS issue and boater behavior. Allowing the launching of dirty equipment sends exactly the wrong message. It also seems that showing up dirty would be evidence of illegal transport. You’re probably seeing a recurring theme here with not launching dirty watercraft with regards to the message.

    So, we see a host of potential problems from launching dirty equipment. It has been judged as a reasonable requirement that people clean their boats before using Lake Powell. We could potentially develop a program that controlled for our concerns (not sure about O2 though) and allowed people to launch dirty if retrieved from Lake Powell and not used anywhere else, but it would be a worrying thing, and we have not invested in any attempt.

    Thanks again for the question. Hope this helps explain the rule.
     
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  17. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    Hey Freshwater,

    There will be an inspection station at Hall's Crossing this year. The plan for Hall's Crossing is to have NPS and UDWR work together upon entrance and exit. Meaning that you may be speaking with either entity upon launching or retrieval. We are doing this to spread our resources out better and to contact retrieving watercraft. Currently NPS is contacting watercraft from Thursday to Sunday for 10 hours/day. UDWR will start sending personnel over during the week starting this week to cover some of the weekday hours. As May approaches, NPS and UDWR will do our best to coordinate schedules to ensure that we have someone there to perform inspections 7 days per week during the busiest hours of the day throughout the summer and into the fall months.
     
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  18. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    That is great news! This is a great step in creating reciprocity between the two states and hopefully throughout the West!
     
  19. John Steffan

    John Steffan Member

    Hey Captain Catfish,

    Would you be able to send me a photo of your boat with the plug in it?
     
  20. capt.catfish

    capt.catfish Well-Known Member

    I'm currently driving back to Washington, but I can probably post a picture by the end of the week. The "duck-bill" looking part sticks out the back and acts as a kind of one way valve; allowing water freely flow out of the boat , but not come in. I like it since I never forget to put the bilge plug back in, but if I have to pull it off for transport, a regular bilge plug would probably be easier.