Last week, a boat infested with Zebra mussels was stopped at the inspection station in Ontario, Oregon. The 41-foot yacht was coming from Harrison Bay, Tennessee, an area that is known to be infested with this invasive mussel. Just a few weeks prior, a boat coming from Quagga mussel infested Lake Havasu, Arizona had to be decontaminated due to the presence of standing water. "Standing water may not sound like a big problem, but when it comes from a water body infested with Quagga or Zebra mussels, it spells trouble," said Rick Boatner, ODFW’s Invasive Species Wildlife Integrity Coordinator. The larva stage of mussels can live several days in water trapped in a bilge or live well and depending on conditions, an adult mussel can live on a boat for up to 30 days.
All motorized and non-motorized watercraft entering the state, including paddle boards, surfboards, kayaks, and canoes, must be inspected at one of Oregon’s watercraft inspection stations. Stations are located in Ashland, Gold Beach, Klamath Falls, Lakeview, and Ontario. Failure to comply can lead to a $110 fine.