Snowbirds Reminded to Have Their Boat Inspected Before Heading Home

If you are one of thousands of “snowbirds” who moved from your home state down to Clark County to avoid the harsh winter, you’re probably getting ready to head back home as the weather starts to warm up. Well, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) wants to remind you to get your watercraft inspected as well as decontaminated before heading home.

“You might not realize it, but getting your boat inspected and decontaminated is one of the most important steps in packing up and heading home,” said Laura Megill, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for NDOW. “Helping to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) is the responsibility of everyone in the boating community.” 

Quagga mussels were first discovered at Lake Mead in Jan. 2007. Since then their presence has been confirmed throughout the Lower Colorado River System and in other waters. Since eradication of the invasive species is not possible at this point, it is important that boaters and other recreationists take steps to prevent the spread of quagga mussels between waterways. The same is true for other invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil. 

Boaters have four stations at Lake Mead National Recreational Area (LMNRA) and one station along Highway 93 outside of Alamo, Nevada where they can bring their boats. The LMNRA locations are: Callville Bay (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., seven days a week), Boulder Harbor (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., seven days a week) and Hemenway Harbor (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., seven days a week) at Lake Mead and Cottonwood Cove (by appointment only) at Lake Mohave. Alamo station is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The inspections are free and by appointment only. To schedule an appointment at LMNRA and Lake Mohave call (702) 757-5757 and at Alamo call (775) 386-5124. 

“Quagga mussels can and have caused extensive damage to water intake systems as well as boats used for recreation and industry wherever the mussels are found. The most important thing that we can do is to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of quagga mussels between waterways,” said Ms. Megill.  

Stop aquatic hitchhikers like quagga mussels from spreading to other waterbodies by visiting our AIS removal stations and always remember to clean, drain and dry. 

CLEAN - Remove all mud, plants, and animals from every part of your boat. 

DRAIN - Remove all water from your boat, including its live wells before you leave the recreation area.

DRY - Allow boat to completely dry before you launch in another waterway.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife protects, conserves, manages and restores wildlife and its habitat for the aesthetic, scientific, educational, recreational, and economic benefits to citizens of Nevada and the United States, and to promote the safety of persons using vessels on the waters of Nevada. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org