Wyoming Trying To Avoid Issues With New Checkpoints
Aquatic Invasive Species have been a big topic of discussion over the past few years, one of the more serious AIS is the zebra mussels. In July, Pactola Reservoir in South Dakota was declared to be infested with zebra mussels causing an increased risk for Wyoming water.
In a move to try and prevent zebra mussels from entering in these popular Wyoming bodies of water, Wyoming Game and Fish Department has implemented new mandatory boat inspections.
Many fishermen and boaters have voiced concern for the future of boating in Wyoming, but according to WGFD, the new restrictions are effective at Glendo until ice covers the water and Keyhole until November 30th. Game and Fish will continue to evaluate the situation over the winter and work on 2023 protocols.
Boat inspections are not a new thing to Wyoming boaters, fisherman and recreation water users. You're required to have your boat inspected anytime you bring a boat into the state and when you're planning on hitting the water you have to have the AIS decal and stop at check stations.
Eric Hansen as the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Specialist in the Casper Region explains that...
the restrictions are in place during certain hours during the day. We're not trying to discourage people from using the water, we want people to go out an enjoy them. This is really just in response to an increase presence of zebra and quagga mussels getting closer to our state and the highly infested boats that we were seeing coming of Pactola after the marina closed there this fall.
Not only is WGFD implementing the mandatory checks from 7am-5pm. There will be only one boat ramp available for launch at both Glendo and Keyhole. At Glendo you will only be allowed to launch at Whiskey Gulch. At Keyhole you can only launch at Pine Haven's Coulter Bay ramp.
Boaters will only be able to use the ramp from 7am-7pm. No boats will be allowed to launch after 5pm and the ramps will be locked down at 7pm.
We're doing the best we can to keep the risk low for our waters, but let people enjoy and have a nice fall out there. Without the public and they're appreciation and help in implementing this, we couldn't do this without them.
Those concerned or with questions and comments are welcome to contact Wyoming Game and Fish
If you're curious about how an AIS boat check will go, most checks are just a few minutes out of your day. Check out this video of what you'll go through at a basic AIS checkpoint.