GILLETTE, Wyo. – Aquatic invasive species can have a devastating effect on local ecosystems; the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is offering training to help prevent their spread in the state.
Free training sessions are available for members of the public looking to become certified Wyoming aquatic invasive species, or AIS, inspectors with the goal being to provide the skills necessary to inspect personally-owned and other watercraft, per WGFD.
With each seven-hour course, held at different statewide locations beginning March 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., trainees will receive information on the basic biology of AIS as well as their impacts, transport, and distribution, game and fish says.
Courses include classroom instruction, a question and answer session, and a hands-on watercraft inspection exercise, according to WGFD, which says the training is open to anyone.
“(AIS) can have far-reaching impacts on Wyoming water resources for agriculture, municipalities, and wildlife. Many of these invasive species significantly change ecosystems, negatively affecting native species and our highly-prized fisheries,” said WGFD AIS Coordinator Josh Leonard. “Educating members of the public about AIS and inspection techniques along with how to properly clean, drain, and dry their boats is critical in the fight to prevent the spread of AIS to Wyoming.”
Per game and fish, AIS can be aquatic animals such as zebra and quagga mussels or rusty crayfish, or aquatic vegetation such as hydrilla.
Those interested in taking a course must register online no later than one week prior to the class start date. According to WGFD, the training sessions will be offered at the following regional offices and dates:
- March 24- Sheridan
- April 8- Cody
- April 15- Lander
- April 15- Green River
- April 22- Casper
- April 29- Laramie
- May 13- Evanston, Patterson Building
- June 4- Pinedale
- June 9- Jackson