I argued this issue at length on the Idaho Whitewater Association Facebook page yesterday. Since the comments made there are relevant to this thread, I'll share them here. Or you can become a fan (and a member) at
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Idaho Whitewater Association:
Well, it looks like Wyoming has jumped on the Invasive Species bandwagon. They are charging $15 for out-of-state non-motorized boats! It seems to me like they really want to keep us out! State rolls out program to block invasive species
Too bad there isn't a dislike button on Facebook. I say, if you think this stinks, "like" this post to make your dissaproval heard.
State rolls out program to block invasive species
You, Jerry Kiser, Adrianne McDannel Burlile and 2 others like this.
$15 to keep the Zebra mussel out is cheap. The Zebra muscle is in Colorado and the Grand Canyon. It takes over. Quit your complaining and be thankful that Wyoming is trying to keep Idaho from being invaded.
The problem is motorized boats overwhelmingly, not rafts, canoes and kayaks. Of course, those rafters with trailers need to not back them into the river, either. IF the Grand Canyon wasn't backed up into various lakes Zebra mussels would be far less of a problem. There is something fundamentally wrong with a river teaming with rainbow trout on a 110 degree day in the desert.
Idaho Whitewater Association:
The issue I'm concerned with is not the effort to keep them out, it's that rafts and kayaks are being held responsible to fund the efforts even though we pose very little risk to transporting them. It's motorized boaters, water being hauled by trucks or other motorized means, and even felt-soled boots that are likely carriers.
Another issue with the Idaho program is the way the fees are handled. We have two agencies with their fingers in the funds. Even though they raised the prices, they are putting even less of that $7 into the actual IS fund than they did when they collected $5.
Oregon is doing a much better job with their system. They've virtually eliminated the cost to create the sticker by allowing the permit to be printed after your online purchase. Therefore, more money goes into the fund.
Oregon also only requires one person per boat to have a permit and they are transferable among family. Idaho requires a permit be attached to the boat. That would be like the F&G requiring a license for each fishing pole.
I also think it is a waste of time, money and resources to inspect whitewater boats at the inspection stations. We pose such a low risk that there is no need to inspect whitewater boats. We very rarely go in infested water, we rarely carry water around in our boats and we don't have all the nooks and crannies for the little buggers to hide in. There are plenty of other ways these mussels can get into Idaho that are more likely than on a raft. Furthermore, the inspectors received ZERO training in how to inspect non motorized craft. They don't even know where to look even if there could be something on our boats. All of the training is completely focused on motorized boats. The training materials are the same ones used for Washington and Colorado - two states that have left non-motorized craft out of this since they aren't the problem.
Idaho has it all wrong and it sounds like Wyoming is following our model, not the Oregon model.
IWA is *trying* to make things right, but we aren't getting any cooperation from lawmakers or the administrators of the fund/program. But trust me, we'll keep trying,
It does not take nooks and crannies, it takes moisture. Young ones are only 1/4 long. It does not matter if rafts and kayaks have a low probability, it is there is any chance.
They are a very destructive mussel and once they get into a waterway they are there forever.
Your statement about a permit per family is short sited. I have three boats. I get one permit so they don't check two of my boats. The permits need to be per boat. If the fishing rods are the carriers then you need a permit for each carrier. Quit complaining about a little bit of money to keep the waterway open.
Besides you have to skip two beers at the end of a run.
It sucks money is not going to where it needs to go.
Idaho Whitewater Association:
There are no documented cases of mussels attaching to rafts or kayaks. Even if they did, finding them would be much easier. They attach along creases and can get into the various parts of engines and jets. If they are on a hull, they are easier to see and remove. And they won't survive as long there anyway. Sure, if you go roll practice in lake mead and don't clean your boat you could transport them. But does it make sense to inspect EVERY single kayak because of the remote chance that someone did that?
If you think we need to inspect every remote tiny possible method that can move them, then we are missing a large number of vessels that *could* transport them. I think the money spent inspecting a very low risk boat would be better spent on public education. If everyone who visits infested waters know how to make sure that they don't transport them, then we have a better chance of keeping them out.
Idaho has been trying to get non-motorized boats to register for years and we've fought that successfully. The same congressman behind non-motorized registration is behind the non-motorized IS fees. He's a politician of the worst kind and his slimy politics are driving this program.... See More
I know very well the destructive abilities of these things. And I really hope they don't make it here or anywhere else that they haven't already infested. But it is not right to single out a group who is not going to be a part of the problem. Fisherman are much more likely to transport them, but our law does not require inflatable under 10 feet to participate. Guess what - fisherman are the group that has inflatable under 10 feet. Tubes and fishing cats. But the legislature didn't want to mobilize that user group to oppose the stickers because they are big and organized and tougher to deal with than us lowly whitewater boaters.
As for my short sightedness, I disagree. Many of us have several boats for different rivers and situation. Having more boats does not increase the likelihood of me transporting mussels. I can only man one boat at a time. If you come to Idaho with three boats and only one has a sticker, that's 2 tickets.
If you have a rental business or a guide service - the fees add up. If you have 6 boats in your garage, it adds up. Besides, I already pay well over a hundred dollars per year in user fees to go boating - much more than the power boater pay to register their boats. I boated in Oregon, paid $7 + fee for my sticker there. I'll have to buy stickers in Idaho for 2 or 3 boats, and if I get over to Wyoming, I'll have to buy another couple $15 stickers. $58 and I'm not the problem. I'll never have my boat in infested waters and I clean, drain (not really applicable), dry.
The system is broken and we need to fix it.
Clean Drain Dry