Upbeat song for an awful situation. If you don’t believe me, look up Utah’s requirements for required drying time after entering a contaminated lake and before entering a different body of water. It applies to any floating vessel and any water-exposed gear, NOT JUST boats with bilges and motors. If you don’t wait for the required drying time, your only other option is to get a certified decontamination done (even if the boat shows no signs of contamination)—and that involves a scalding pressure-wash that I suspect damages kayaks and canoes etc.
Song wouldn’t play for me but the advice in the lyrics to wash and clean your boat is good no matter where you paddle. Read the Utah boat inspection and cleaning procedures. There must be limited water access there to allow them to have such control.
I’ve lived in Utah for almost 30 years, and I’ve been rafting & paddling for 20 years. So far, I’ve seen one inspection person at one of the boat ramps at Flaming Gorge. I’ve never seen or heard about any boat check stations. Utah doesn’t have an AIS sticker program yet, so funding for inspection & control is limited. There are power boats everywhere in Utah and I can’t picture those drying times being followed. Maybe things are changing, but I haven’t seen it yet.
I have to wonder about the level of compliance, because there are so many powerboaters and times and/or places to sneak in. Not that I am advocating skirting the inspections, but if it is too hard to find an inspector, that is what some boaters of all modes will do.
My husband and I wanted to paddle in an ID lake back in 2011, on our way between CO and WA. Highway signs ominously warned that all boats passing through ID had to be inspected for AIS. We actually took the trouble to ask around and locate an inspector so we could paddle there.
Every subsequent time that we drove through ID (5 more trips during fine paddling seasons), we decided to not paddle there at all. Then again, maybe that is what they want, to reduce the number of boaters!
UT might not have an AIS sticker program, but the state’s requirements for drying/decon sure act like one. Lake Powell has required inspection and certs since at least April 2012, when I last paddled there. However, they admitted that kayaks were at low risk of contamination. There was a colored inspection cert that I had to place on my truck’s dashboard to show that my boat was clean. The requirements I posted at the above-posted website indicate that now you must have both a dashboard cert AND one on or in the boat.
I really have to laugh at the stupid regulations some states adopt that are all but unenforcible. I don’t live in Oregon, but that state requires an invasive species permit for all vessels (boats) even on the Columbia River. The Columbia River is visited everyday by huge ships from all over the world. I’ve yet to see one of those ships put on dry land and allowed to be thoroughly decontaminated before entering the river and traversing all the way to Portland.
The invasives most likely came from those big international vessels in the first place, which is adding insult to injury for boaters using small craft. Maybe the big ships do undergo AIS inspections? Hah, doubt it.
I wouldn’t mind the inspections if they did not so severely restrict paddling times. The lack of year-round inspections means NO boating entry except for the warm season in some places.
But even worse is that long drying time for self-cleaners. The UT law must assume people only boat one day per week, on exactly the same day of the week. And in spring, waiting 18 days for drying in such a sunny, dry climate as the SW US is ridiculous. For canoes and kayaks and boards, a good wash, wipe, and set out in the sun both upside-down and right-side-up (with hatches open) takes care of the drying much faster than 18 or 7 or even 2 days. I know this because that is what I started doing long before the laws popped up all over the place.
Then there is the official decon, which allows shortening time till the next launch but which also would damage hand-propelled vessels.
I wonder how to get a separate decon process on the books, one tailored for paddlecraft and oared boats instead of for powerboats and jet skis. Any ideas on how to go about this?
The inspections vary so much from state to state. When I go up to Idaho to raft, they don’t even look at my raft. They ask where the boat was last, where it’s going, and what’s my zip code. Done. In Wyoming, they actually walk around and look at the boat. In Yellowstone they look at the outside, then get on a ladder to inspect inside the hatches, then they inspect my paddles for any mud or dirt.
I have not been down to paddle at Lake Powell in awhile, so I’ll have to be prepared. How will they know by looking at your boat how many days it has been drying??? I do agree that they are more focused on motorized watercraft. I paddled several locations at Flaming Gorge two summers ago, and was inspected at only one boat ramp. It was a very quick inspection. I don’t recall any paperwork at that time, but my memory isn’t what it used to be.
I went online and completed the Mussel Aware Boater Program, took the test, and got a 2017 certification. Now I don’t have to fill out a form for each trip. I can display & carry this certification all year. I still have to get inspected, and follow the proper decontamination procedures. When I go to Lake Powell, I won’t get checked because it is a contaminated body of water, but I must drain all water before I leave the area, clean & dry my kayak the required length of time once I get home. If I go to another body of water after Lake Powell it must be cleaned & have dried the proper length of time & be inspected. Lots of stuff to do & remember, but I’m cool with following the rules to protect the waters. I’ve never seen an inspection on any of the rivers or lakes I paddled last year in Utah. But I’ll be prepared now. Thanks for the heads-up pikabike, I had not seen anything here in Utah about the inspection process…so much for public education. I think they are aiming for the motorized boating folks, but according to the website, if it floats, it’s a boat and has to follow the rules.
Did you reach a field where you had to enter a hunting license code or something like that? I did the whole darned test only to stumble at that point. Grrrr. Maybe I will try again. It’s not as though it is taking away from paddling time, not with yet another Pineapple Express turned to snow and ice.
Eagerly awaiting spring’s return. Meanwhile, at least this white stuff helps prevent drought.
I didn’t remember my Utah DNR #, but once I entered my SSN it brought it up. If you don’t have a Utah DNR # from a past fishing license for example, then it should direct you to a way to register? I kind of enjoyed the test, very informative. If the drying times ever present a problem, then I can just use my second kayak. I’ll just have to think ahead about which kayak to use. See…there’s a reason to have multiple boats
I am in Tucson, Az and go to SD, Ca where there is an Aggie Station a few miles in.
First time, they asked when was the last time I had my kayaks In the water and then let me go. Next time, they glanced in the cockpit and waved me on.
the last few times they never even stopped me.
When I drive to Blythe or Henderson to do the Colorado from Ca or Nv, there are NO stations, just a sign at the boat ramp.
There are no inspections in Az but then, when it is 110 with 0.001% humidity, you can fill your boat with water and it will be dry before you get home.
Rik, that is exactly my point: The drying times seem far more than necessary to kill the veligers that might be in or on a paddlecraft. Inside bilges or motors, maybe those times are critical. But I question whether any studies have been done that demonstrate how long veligers can survive on exposed areas such as on kayaks and inside hatch compartments that have had the covers removed, wiped dry, and then exposed to the sun. Maybe it only takes a day after being palpably dry…not 7 days or 18 days. And that assumes the veligers attached themselves in the first place. Most people don’t leave their kayaks or boards in the water for more than a day.
When inspectors have examined my kayaks, they looked to see that it was dry and clean (no muck or damp vegetation). Sometimes they took a quick glance and waved me on. The most thorough check involved opening all covers and looking inside. In all cases, they asked where and when the boat had last been in the water. None of the previous outings had been in contaminated waters.
Now that Powell is infested, I don’t want to paddle there and have to wait so long before being allowed paddle elsewhere. In season, I paddle 3 to 4 times a week, and I have NO desire to own 2 sea kayaks again. Utah reservoirs are pretty but not worth losing a week or more of paddling time after going there.
some places you paddle you simply have to 'play the game"- be it 20 questions, having the right sticker, or getting your boat pressure washed. The rules are not very consistant between states or even within a state. in general, there seems to be a greater emphasis on lakes and motor boats