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New laws in Idaho will help fight aquatic invasive species

Quagga Mussel Larvae in Twin Falls
Posted at 2:26 PM, Jul 01, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — As of July 1st, new laws are in effect in Idaho aimed at combating aquatic invasive species.

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) announced that changes to the law include mandatory inspection and decontamination for out of state watercraft, requirements for removing drain plugs and opportunities for local watercraft inspection stations.

RELATED: IDFG releases information regarding the impact of the quagga mussel treatment to fish population

“Since Idaho’s Legislature took action in 2008, our state has taken the forefront in combating aquatic invasive species,” said Chanel Tewalt, ISDA Director. “Today, Idaho adds additional tools in our fight to protect agriculture, power generation, recreation and private property.”

The new law directs that all out of state watercraft must be inspected and decontaminated at a watercraft inspection station prior to launch. Before launching a conveyance in Idaho, a nonresident watercraft owner must also purchase an invasive species sticker.

RELATED: Most fish died in the Snake River after treatment for quagga mussels ... but not all

Before transporting any watercraft, operators must remove the drain plug and drain all water, including all internal compartments, such as ballasts, bilges, live wells and motors. All bilge and ballast plugs and other barriers that prevent water drainage from a conveyance must be removed and remain open while a watercraft is transported by land within the state.

Funding is now available for counties, cities or other local entities for equipment and supply costs necessary for the operation of watercraft inspection stations. Up to 20% of the invasive species sticker fund's annual revenue is available by ISDA for this partnership opportunity. Local entities interested should contact ISDA for further information.

A conveyance or watercraft includes but is not limited to a boat, kayak, paddleboard, inflatable watercraft, sailboat, trailer or any other means or method of water transportation.

RELATED: Snake River Quagga mussel update

The ISDA operates a hotline (1-877-336-8676) for anyone needing information or a free decontamination wash for watercraft that may have been in mussel-infested waters. For more information on ISDA’s Invasive Species Program, including inspection station locations and program activities, visit

Invasive species stickers can be purchased from Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, here.