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Mandatory AIS check stations to resume operations in March

(File Photo)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Watercraft inspection stations will resume normal operations in early March, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 

The check stations are an effort to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species — like zebra and quagga mussels — into Wyoming waterways, according to Game and Fish, which is reminding boaters that all watercraft transported into Wyoming between March 1 and Nov. 30 must under a mandatory inspection by an authorized inspector before launch. 

“Wyoming is one of the few states left in the nation that hasn’t detected the invasive zebra or quagga mussels in our waters,” Josh Leonard, AIS coordinator, said in a statement. “Game and Fish is dedicated to keeping these destructive invasive species out of our state’s waters.”

Watercraft used on waterways containing aquatic invasive species — suspected or otherwise — need to be inspected before launching year-round and may require decontamination, per Game and Fish. 

It is the boater’s responsibility to seek out an inspection if they do not encounter a check station on their route of travel, a list of which can be found online, Game and Fish says, adding that watercraft used on Wyoming waters must have an AIS Decal displayed. 

Soft- and hard-sided stand-up paddleboards and non-motorized inflatable watercraft 10 feet in length or less do not need an AIS Decal, though they still require an inspection when coming from out of state, according to Game and Fish. 

For more information on check stations, please visit the Game and Fish website.