Utah – This spring or summer, boaters planning a trip to Lake Powell will need to plan ahead before heading out.
According to The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), due to record levels of drought, boating and fishing activities have been affected.
Low water levels are expected to remain low and have resulted in limited options for launching boats at both ends of Lake Powell.
According to DWR, crowding is expected at open ramps while officials inspect boats departing the area and provide decontaminations to those who request them.
“We ask that watercraft users continue to be patient as our staff work as fast as they can to meet the inspection and decontamination requirements at Lake Powell during the boating season,” says DWR Aquatic Invasive Species Sgt. Micah Evans. “Law enforcement officers and technicians for the DWR, NPS, and other agencies work long, hot, busy weekends inspecting and decontaminating watercraft across Utah. This intensive effort is focused on preventing invasive quagga mussels in Lake Powell from spreading to other Utah waterbodies.”
In 2021, the majority of violations related to aquatic invasive species laws were due to nonresident watercraft users failing to complete the mandatory education course and fee payment along with boaters failing to remove drain plugs while transporting their watercraft.
With some located at boat launch ramps and others along highways, officials are reminding boaters, there are over 40 inspection stations located around Utah.
Requirements for watercraft users:
• All watercraft must stop at mandatory inspection stations for the required inspections.
• Remember that “watercraft” includes kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and inflatable rafts.
• Drain all water, and keep all drain plugs removed when leaving any waterbody.
• Nonresidents are required to take the mandatory education course and pay a boater fee before launching a boat in the state of Utah.
• Clean, drain, and dry your watercraft after launching at Lake Powell or at other water bodies infested with quagga mussels or other aquatic invasive species.
• Before launching in any Utah waterbody, all watercraft users must display a self-decontamination form.