The State of Idaho is confident that its boat checking stations, including the one in Franklin, are protecting Idaho waters from invasive species like Quagga mussels.
To date, the Franklin station has inspected over 3,000 boats, said Nicholas Zurfluh, an Invasive Species Coordination and Outreach Section Manager for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.
"It's going well in Idaho this year. We are seeing an increase in boat checks," he said.
Because so many boaters from the Cache Valley travel to Lake Powell, he urges local boaters to continue to be vigilant by cleaning, draining and drying their vessels between uses - including hidden water compartments like the bilge and places where sediments can collect.
Not only their boats, but their gear.
"Get all the water out because standing water can harbor invasive species, whether it is aquatic plants or animals. If it floats, its a boat," he said, noting that not only is it the law for boaters to stop, but that the practice will make their gear last longer.
"If you are travelling to Lake Powell, have a certified decontamination when you go. If anyone needs a free boat inspection, they are always welcome to call us. We have an invasive species hotline - 1-877-336-8676 ," he said
Helping the effort to be more effective, are local law enforcement agencies.
"We have good law enforcement support with Franklin County. That's good, because these inspections are mandatory," he said.
"If you don’t comply, those law enforcement officers will bring you back," he said. Officers have returned 15 boats to the station, which has performed 23 hot wash decontaminations.
Mussels have been found four times on boats coming to Franklin County, but they have all been dead mussels, said Zurfluh.
He also noted that the hot wash and inspection is free of charge to boat owners. Franklin Watercraft inspection station is managed by Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District.
The service, and the check station are funded through cooperation between state and federal agencies as well as several federal grants. The Idaho Transportation District allows use of its way station for the service.
The Idaho Invasive Species sticker, that is required for all watercraft launching in Idaho waters, and the Idaho General Fund also provide funds for the stations.
The fee for the sticker is included with boats registered in Idaho. Non-resident may purchase the sticker through Idaho Parks and Recreation for $30. Stickers are $7 for any non-motorized watercraft. The only exemption is for non-motorized, inflatable objects that are less than 10 feet.
More information can be found at www.invasivespecies.idaho.gov.