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Discussion Starter #1
I appears that the western state are really trying to gear up and make a stand against invasive species. As an avid fisherman and recreational boater I want to do the right thing to help protect our rivers. But I am baffled about how to do this in a practical way.

Most of the literature I can find is focused on motor boats using lakes or reservoirs. The rules seem to be focused on emptying bilge tanks and bait wells. I can find no information on how these rules apply to moving water or guidelines on how to decontaminate inflatable watercraft that needs to be rolled for transport.

For example: Utah's guidelines suggest I need to dry my boat for seven days before I can qualify for 'self decontamination'. This seem impractical for most persons traveling from out of state. The option of using 'professional decontamination' is suggested, but these sites are all located at reservoirs hundreds of miles away from the whitewater take outs.

Colorado's new regulations will require mandatory inspections for all out-of state-water craft and all in-state watercraft that have been in contaminated waters. Again all of the inspection sites are located at major reservoirs not anywhere near the whitewater recreation sites. It is unclear how they can inspect a boat that is rolled up in back of my pickup. The state list of contaminated waters only lists still water. Should I assume that if Pueblo Reservoir is contaminated that the Arkansas River below the dam in infected as well? Or should I assume that since I only float moving water and no rivers are listed that I am exempt from the regulation?

Does anyone know of a practical way to clean my boat between trips?
Will I have to transport my boat fully inflated so it is available for inspections as I cross state lines? Can I get my boat inspected or cleaned by a certified professional without having to detour to a major reservoir?
 

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It seems we are going to need to approach each state and get documented recommendations. I am gonna call/email Utah DNR Monday but that will be the thoughts of one employee and not an official statement. Its likely best if we have an organization be a consistent voice in working for us but not sure who that should be.

As I have interacted with them in the past its largely focused on education and they hesitate to penalize anyone trying their best. That said it would be helpful to have the agencies decide a proper procedure for the various ways we transport rafts/kayaks (inflated, rolled, etc). Its a novel problem that deserves specific attention.

Phillip
 

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Restrac2000, River Runners for Wilderness will help where we can on this. If there is a 7 day drying period before my Achilles bucket can cross state lines and I can go home, that seems problematic. Getting the agencies thoughts on this is first step, so please report back what you hear when you chat with them. That would be Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Washington. Will be away the next week, but back after that. Thank you for your, Ken and Phillip's research into this. Yours, Tom

Tom Martin
Co-Director
River Runners For Wilderness
PO Box 30821
Flagstaff, AZ 86003-0821
Hm: 928-556-0742
Mobile: 928-856-9065
[email protected]
www.rrfw.org
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In my internet research I have found several references with detailed cleaning procedures that might be useful to the rafter....

Recommendations for the Adirondacks region (see page 22, while this document may not apply directly to the new regulations in Western states it has a lot of detailed information and citations, including info on the impact of motorized vs non-motorized watercraft)
http://adkinvasives.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Boat_Inspection_Decontamination_Adirondack_Recommendations_March-2014_.pdf

A detailed guide for prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) by NOAA fisheries
http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/pdf/best_management_practices/Cleaning%20of%20Watercraft%20and%20Equipment.pdf

Washing with high pressure water (1800 - 2500 psi) and high temperature (140 - 180 degrees F) seems to be the preferred method of prevention. I'm afraid this could be fatal to inflatable boats and would likely do permanent damage my wooden dory.
 

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In my internet research I have found several references with detailed cleaning procedures that might be useful to the rafter....

Recommendations for the Adirondacks region (see page 22, while this document may not apply directly to the new regulations in Western states it has a lot of detailed information and citations, including info on the impact of motorized vs non-motorized watercraft)
http://adkinvasives.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Boat_Inspection_Decontamination_Adirondack_Recommendations_March-2014_.pdf

A detailed guide for prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) by NOAA fisheries
http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/pdf/best_management_practices/Cleaning%20of%20Watercraft%20and%20Equipment.pdf

Washing with high pressure water (1800 - 2500 psi) and high temperature (140 - 180 degrees F) seems to be the preferred method of prevention. I'm afraid this could be fatal to inflatable boats and would likely do permanent damage my wooden dory.
Sounds like we just ban all rafts and dorys. WIN!
 

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Certification of decontamination is satisfied by:
(a) previously completing self-decontamination since the vessel and launching device were last in a water described in Subsection (1)(a) and completely filling out and dating a decontamination certification form which can be obtained from the division; or
(b) providing a signed and dated certificate by a division approved professional decontamination service verifying the vessel and launching device were professionally decontaminated since the vessel and launching device were last in a water described in Subsection (1)(a).
(3) Both the decontamination certification form and the professional decontamination certificate, where applicable, must be signed and placed in open view in the window of the launching vehicle prior to launching or placing the vessel in a body of water.
(4) It is unlawful under Section 76-8-504 to knowing falsify a decontamination certification form.

I can't seem to find the self decontamination certificate they speak of. I'm guessing you need one for each boat your transporting. Utah loves to stop and check me out...and I'm an old grey haired guy. I go on these High School trips to Deso and usually haul all the boats and gear. I've had them stop me and check the coolers for out of state beer......but we don't take things like that with us. ;) Last year I had three gear boats, three paddle boats, three ducks and a kayak.....plus a motor. Should be about the same load this year. Seven of the boats are not mine. Now I'm guessing I need a certificate for each boat and proof of who owns what. If I get to the put in and don't have the right paperwork from the border, do we get to launch? This is getting complicated fast.....:confused:

Rec.gov better be able to give instructions on how this is going to work when you get your permit.....or there are going to be a lot of pissed off people at the put in. Good thing it's Winter and we have time to figure this out before we head to Utah.

From power boating experience, (mainly Utah and Colorado) when you pull your boat out of the water, they put a tag on a cable and attach it to the front of the boat and trailer. They attach it in a way that they can tell if the boat has been off the trailer. They also give you a pink slip that you keep with the boat and give it to the next inspector at the next lake you visit. Pretty cut and dry for single boats on trailers. When I left Pueblo Res. and headed for Powell, I had Pueblo decon me so we wouldn't have a problem launching. When we left Powell, they didn't have their decon station open and the ranger noted that on our pink slip, which means at the next lake we go to, we will have to have it deconed before we launch. No big deal....it's free here in Colorado. ;) You just need to plan accordingly.
 

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The Cost of Checkpoint Quagga

What a farce. A bunch of state militias are being created to defend the Wrecked federal imprisonment of the Colorado River for the benefit of sprawl, agribusiness and coal mining. At what cost?

Meanwhile, the surveillance states and local police jump at any chance to ratchet down a click tighter on individual rights and freedoms under the guise of helping the feds keep the Colorado River imprisoned. At what cost?

Controlling mussels on a dammed Colorado will continue to fail ecologically and economically until the day the Colorado River flows free and its turbid waters clear itself of mussels and the Wrecked federal dams. For an idea of the costs of absurd and oppressive attempts to control natural flows, ask some East Germans about their "symbol of state abuse cast in concrete" that "took millions of people to the limits of what is tolerable."

Until the concrete falls and reunifies the Colorado with gravity and freedom and sanity, vee mussen komply und zee goot booters vill keep zer Quagga paperz im order.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here is a link to the Utah self decontamination certificate....
https://wildlife.utah.gov/mussels/PDF/self_certify.pdf

You will need documentation for each boat. Note: that you need to dry your boat for period of 7 to 30 days to qualify for 'self decontamination'. If you can't wait 7 days for the boat to dry out you are provided the 'professional decontamination' option where your boat is blasted with 1,800 psi water at 140 degrees for a min. of 10 seconds on all surfaces. This service is only offered at major reservoirs, estimated time for the decontamination procedure is 30 minute to 3 hours per boat. And you will be waiting in line with all of the motor boats that need to decontaminate as well. The decontamination is only provided during normal business hours, so you will need to plan your trip accordingly.

In theory the breakable seal that connects the boat and trailer is accepted by neighboring states. As long as the seal is not broken they can accept that the boat has not been used and is still clean. You still have to stop at all check points, but can avoid another inspection by showing them the seal and it documentation. I'm not sure how this is supposed to work for boats that are not on trailers since there is no place to attach the seal that can insure the boat has not been used.

Each state seems to have a different procedure for inspection and documentation. Utah allows you to sign the document mentioned above and claim 'self decontamination' while Colorado requires a physical inspection of each boat. Note: the Colorado inspection is void as soon as you cross in to another state, you will need a second inspection to re-enter. So if you are returning from Utah it appears that Colorado will only accept the professional decontamination with the seal.

If you travel through Nevada, Wyoming or Idaho you will also need to purchase an AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) sticker that needs to be mounted on each boat. The average cost for an out of state boat is about $30. And you need one for each state.

I am also concerned that if you fail one of the port of entry inspections because your boat is not 'clean, drained and dry' they can impound the boat for 5 to 30 days. Considering how caked with mud my boat and trailer can get while driving the dirt road from the takeout I can only wonder how I can insure a clean boat when I encounter a random check point. Utah impounded 49 boats last year.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Also, if you have a motor that uses water cooling it must be flushed, inspected and certified AIS free. You will need to provide any fittings required to flush the motor. So in Caverdans example he would need to carry 11 sets of documentation and produce those at each port of entry and any random road checks.

So on his next Deso trip all he needs to do is drive to Eleven Mile State recreation area (closest inspection site to ColoSprings) during normal business hours, wait his turn with all of the motor boats that have mandatory decontamination requirements, have all eleven of his boats and motors inspected prior to heading the the put-in. Then after floating he can drive to either Glenn Canyon or Flaming gorge Reservoir and have all of them inspected again before returning to Colorado. Easy peasy

Since some power boats will require over 3 hours to decontaminate I expect the wait times to be significant.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just spoke with a state biologist from the Northern Region of Utah.

At this time Utah DOES NOT have reciprocity with any other state and will not accept an inspection or certification that did not occur in Utah. They do have a task force working on this and hope to have an agreement with neighboring states within a year.

If you arrive at a put-in in Utah and do not have the required certification you will not be allowed to launch.

If you are stopped at a check point and do not have certification for each boat you will be required to unload your trailer and assemble boats for inspection. If any water, vegetation or mud is found those boats are required to undergo 'professional decontamination' at the nearest reservoir or one of the 5 sites located in major cities in Utah before they can be legally launched.

If you are doing multiple day trips on the same river you only need to have certification for the first day of launch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did find an attractive loophole/option in the Utah law. Complete the online Q&A found below and you get a certificate good for the whole calender year! No inspections required. I have been unable to verify if this program will still be in place for next season.


Multiple-use decontamination form

Complete the online Mussel-Aware Boater Program and receive a Decontamination Certification Form valid through the end of the calendar year.

https://dwrapps.utah.gov/wex/dbconnection.jsp?examnbr=507273
 

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My biggest fear is they passed laws that affect us but have not considered the nuance and unique infrastructure that will be needed for the whitewater community. Many agency staff will be tolerant of us trying our best. However, they way the law is written, our best attempts within the existing system may not be enough for others and we could be seriously impacted by their interpretation.

Even living in Utah the closest decontamination station is seasonal (often non-operational during the season I boat) and an hour away. As well, I am not comfortable with blasting my 30 year old Avon bucket with high pressure 140F+ water unless I know it can hold up to such abuse (such systems are designed for hard hulled boats).

I am all for preventing the spread of these nasty creatures but I am not sure we are gonna have the means to do so despite legislation. In Utah, the listed waterways are exited at best by dirt ramps. No infrastructure. For someone like me who mostly rolls gear at the takeout there is no way my boat will be decontaminated and dried legally. I am likely looking at $100 per trip to pay for decontamination and gas to drive to said location. Unless its considered safe to wash at home into my local municipality's sewer system which seems contrary to the entire point of the laws.

And then there is the interagency accountability and interaction needed for this to work. I mean it means education for river rangers on every river stretch, functionally discriminating and developing policy for people coming from different states (as a Utah resident I don't have to certify my boat for Deso for everyone else does), etc.

That is the law at least. I will do my best to abide but to me the law doesn't overlap well with reality, human or river ecology. Deso doesn't seem to fit the parameters of mussel habitat. Westwater doesn't seem to fit; Cataract doesn't seem to fit; Escalante doesn't seem to fit; San Juan doesn't seem to fit. I can see where places in Utah below dams may be concerned, like sections of the Provo, flat water stretches of the Green (sections of B & C), etc. In all honesty I don't think the legislators and agencies personnel that helped develop this policy really thought about these nuances and how whitewater users fit into the conservation equation. I stick to my guns that they are primarily focused on hard hulled craft in lakes even though we stand a chance of affecting their spread. And in the interim we are in an awkward place of being legally bound to abide without really having the resources to do so.

Phillip
 

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I did find an attractive loophole/option in the Utah law. Complete the online Q&A found below and you get a certificate good for the whole calender year! No inspections required. I have been unable to verify if this program will still be in place for next season.


Multiple-use decontamination form

Complete the online Mussel-Aware Boater Program and receive a Decontamination Certification Form valid through the end of the calendar year.

https://dwrapps.utah.gov/wex/dbconnection.jsp?examnbr=507273
The voluntary program and slideshow has to be done every year. And while yes it is a decontamination certificate for an entire year it does not mean you don't have to be inspected. It just means that you don't have to get individual certificates after each boating trip. So if you have this certificate and decontaminate properly after each trip it can expedite the inspection process. But if you have the certificate and don't decontaminate you are in violation of the law.

Your signature on the form certifies one of two things: your boat has not been used within the past 30 days on any body of water affected by quagga or zebra mussels, or your boat has been properly decontaminated. Failure to comply with the law--by fraudulently signing a Decontamination Certification Form or by possessing, transporting or introducing invasive mussels into Utah--is a violation of Utah Administrative Rule R657-60. You may be fined, imprisoned and held liable for impacts that result from violation of this law.
Not a loophole at all really. Its an voluntary way to get people more educated on the invasive issue.

Phillip
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In my conversion with the state biologist I mentioned my concerns over high pressure washing of inflatable boats. She responded that high pressure is only required when there is visible contamination, such as encrusted mussel colonies in an anchor system (over 30 such identified last year!) Under most cases your boat only needs low pressure scalding water, 140 degrees or more. At this time the professional certified decontamination service is free, at least for non-motorized boats. I would like some clarification that those temps won't effect my glued seams.

So far my research indicates that if we keep our boats clean and dry between uses and appear to be trying to cooperate with the certification requirements we shouldn't have too many problems in Utah. The primary focus of concern for Utah is inspecting the bilges and anchor systems on motor boats heading to and from Powell.

On the other hand, if you show up at the launch without certification, or if the ranger thinks your boat is dirty you will be screwed.
 

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Thanks for clarification on pressure settings from the agency. Thanks for getting ahead of me on that one and letting us know. I might still contact them in the near future to see if the task force or working group meetings are open to the public.

Clarification....your summary above, does it mean we can just use the river water on site for the "clean" part or do we need to go through the free professional or agency cleaning at the regional stations? The drain and dry part is easy enough at home and I have no problem adding another step to my derig if it helps. Coming home from the Grand aligns with hitting a cleaning station if we plan a little extra. Cataract Canyon is the crappiest scenario as it means going way out of my way for a station (if that is required). That said its not remotely ideal habitat and if we can "Clean" with river water to satisfy the law then we are good to go. I am assuming its on the list for motorboats who then have to exit at either Bullfrog or Wahweap which force the users into ideal habitat and infected waters. Only doing Cataract and exiting at Dirty Devil doesn't really seem to be an issue as I understand it.

Living in Utah gives me the benefit of not having to decontaminate before/after a San Juan, Deso, Moab Daily or Westwater trip as long as my boat has not been on any other rivers. Simplifies part of my life as that is 95% of the boating I do.

Phillip
 

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The entire situation makes me rethink renting equipment in the future for trips to Colorado (mostly the Arkansas) or down the Grand. Ecologically better and might just be simpler.

Phillip
 
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