DWR Sets Administrative Checkpoint To Prevent Spread Of Mussels
By state law, Division of Wildlife Resources officials are authorized to conduct administrative checkpoints on various roadways throughout the year to help prevent the spread of quagga and zebra mussels. These checkpoints are different than mandatory inspection stations at waterbodies and other areas because all vehicles — not just those transporting watercraft — will be directed off the road. Then, the vehicles towing or hauling watercraft are directed to a separate area for inspections.
These checkpoints are approved in advance by a magistrate and require law enforcement officers to be present. The conservation officers ensure people are complying with the requirement to stop at inspection stations, and make sure all watercraft have been cleaned and drained appropriately. Cleaning and draining includes making sure there is no water left onboard, including in live wells, ballast tanks and lower engine units, and that the watercraft is free of plants, mud and attached invasive species. Drain plugs must be removed while in transit.
An Administrative Checkpoint will be held on Friday, June 2 from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the north side of I-70 at the Utah Department of Transportation weigh station, located at approximately milepost 186. All watercraft traveling westbound on I-70 during time of the checkpoint are required to stop for inspection. Motorboats and sailboats, jet skis and wave runners, canoes, kayaks, float tubes, trailers and vehicles that go into the water on a boat ramp and paddleboards are all considered as watercraft in the state of Utah.
Again, inspection stations are different than administrative checkpoints. Inspection stations are often located at boat launch ramps at waterbodies, but can also be located along highways. While all vehicles have to stop at an administrative checkpoint, only those with watercraft need to stop at an inspection station. Law enforcement officers may also be present at inspection stations, but are not required to be, like with administrative checkpoints.
When a boater stops at a mandatory inspection station, aquatic invasive species professionals will check the watercraft for attached quagga and zebra mussels and for standing water. They also examine boats to ensure the drain plugs have been removed and have not been reinstalled. They will also obtain information about where that watercraft has been used during the last 30 days. There are over 40 inspection stations located around Utah, with some located at boat launch ramps and others along highways.
Other administrative checkpoints may also be held throughout the year in other locations, as inspection needs arise.