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  • Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS)Watercraft Inspection Handbook

    C O L O R A D O D E PA R T M E N T O F N A T U R A L R E S O U R C E S

    COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE 6060 Broadway Denver, CO 80216 (303) 297-1192 www.colorado.gov/wildlife

    Official State of Colorado Watercraft Inspection and

    Decontamination Procedures February 20, 2009

    Official State of Colorado Watercraft Inspection and

    Decontamination Procedures February 20, 2009

  • Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Watercraft Inspection Handbook 1

    Table of Contents

    What are Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) or Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

    What is the purpose of this Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Watercraft Inspection Handbook? . . . . . . . . . . 2

    What are zebra and quagga mussels?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

    How did the mussels get to Colorado? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    Why should we be concerned about zebra and quagga mussels? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    What can we do? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

    Working with the publicFAQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

    What types of inspections will I do? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    What are my priorities as a watercraft inspector? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    Which watercraft are the highest risks for transporting mussels and other ANS?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

    What is the protocol for inspecting watercraft entering uninfested Colorado waters? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

    What equipment do I need for inspections? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

    Where should watercraft inspections, draining, and decontamination stations be located? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

    What is the protocol for Standard ANS Inspections?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

    State of Colorado Standard Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Inspection Checklist/Prevention Waters . . . . 19

    State of Colorado (ANS) Log for Monthly Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

    How do we deal with bait?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

    What if a boat contains standing water? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

    What is the protocol for High Risk ANS Inspections?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

    What do we do if we find zebra or quagga mussels or other possible ANS on the watercraft?. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

    State of Colorado High Risk (ANS) Inspection Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

    State of Colorado (ANS) Documentation and Vessel Decontamination Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

    What are the standard decontamination protocols for Colorado? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

    What options does the boater have if our site does not have a watercraft decontamination unit?. . . . . . . . . . 29

    What if the boater will not allow a high risk inspection or decontamination?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    What is the protocol for Clean/Drain/Dry Checks for watercraft LEAVING our waters?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    State of Colorado Clean/Drain/Dry Checklist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    What is the inspection wire seal system? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

    State of Colorado Inspection and Decontamination Seal Receipt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

    What are recommended drying times for watercraft coming from infested waters? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

    What are the other ANS that Colorado is concerned about? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

  • 2 Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Watercraft Inspection Handbook

    What are Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) or Aquatic InvasiveSpecies (AIS)?

    A species that is: 1.) non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and 2.) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm orharm to human health.

    [Executive Order 13112 signed by President William Clinton on February 3, 1999 (Invasive Species Act)]

    Aquatic invasive species (AIS) and aquatic nuisance species (ANS) are also called non-native species, exoticspecies, non-indigenous species, weeds or pests. ANS can be plants or animals. Invasive aquatic plants areintroduced plants that have adapted to living in, on, or next to water, and that can grow either submerged orpartially submerged in water. Invasive aquatic animals require a watery habitat, but do not necessarily have tolive entirely in water. ANS plants and animals threaten native species and interfere with municipal, commercial, and agriculturalwater supply and distribution, and recreational activities. In their native environments, ANS populations aretypically held in check and controlled by predators, parasites, pathogens, or competitors. However, when theyare transported to a new environment, the natural checks are usually left behind. This gives invasive plants andanimals an advantage over native species and makes them very difficult to control.

    What is the purpose of this Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS)Watercraft Inspection Handbook?This handbook outlines standard watercraft inspection and decontamination procedures to prevent the spreadof aquatic nuisance species in Colorado. While this handbook puts special emphasis on two species recentlydiscovered in Coloradozebra and quagga musselsthe procedures apply to all aquatic nuisance species, bothplant and animal. A comprehensive list and description of non-native species that could negatively impactnative species, recreation, or water resources in our state is provided at the end of this handbook. The procedures in this handbook apply to trailered watercraft of any and all kinds. It includes their motors,trailers, compartments and any other associated equipment or containers that routinely or reasonably could beexpected to contain or have come into contact with water.

    What are zebra and quagga mussels?Zebra and quagga mussels are freshwater bivalve mollusksanimals withtwo shells. They are relatives of clams and oysters. It is very difficult for anon-expert to tell the two species apart. The shell color of both musselsalternates between a yellowish anddarker brown, often formingstripes. They range in size frommicroscopic up to about twoinches long. The zebra mussel isnearly triangular in shape and thequagga mussel is more rounded.Unlike native North American

    ZebraMussel

    Zebra Mussel(Actual size is 15 mm)

    Quagga Mussel(Actual size is 20 mm)

    Sits flat on ventral side Triangular in shape Color patterns vary

    Topples over, will not sit flat on ventral side Rounder in shape Usually have dark concentric rings on shell Paler in color near the hinge

    PHOTO BY LAUREN LIVO AND STEVE WILCOX PHOTO BY U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

  • ByssalThreads

    freshwater mussels, which burrow in soft sediment, adult zebra and quaggamussels can attach via tiny threadsbyssal threadsto hard surfaces.

    Both zebra and quagga mussels can survive cold waters, but cannot tolerate freezing. Theycan endure temperatures between 130C (3386F). Zebra mussels need waters above12C (54F) to reproduce while quagga mussels can reproduce in waters as cold as 9C(48F). The embryos are microscopic. The larvae, called veligers, are planktonicfree-

    floating. The veligers float in thewater column or are carried in thecurrent for about four to eightweeks. Then the larvae developshells and settle onto any solidsurface, including the skin orshells of native aquatic species.Zebra mussels are native to the Black and Caspian Seas.They were discovered in the Great Lakes in 1988 and havesince spread to 26 states in the United States. Quaggamussels are native to the Dnieper River Drainage in theUkraine, and were first found in the Great Lakes in 1989.

    How did the mussels get to Colorado?Many aquatic nuisance species, including zebra and quagga mussels, have first been introduced into the GreatLakes in the discharged ballast water of ocean-going ships. Once in North American waters and wetlands,aquatic nuisance species often hitch rides to other bodies of water on the boats, trailers, and equipment thatpeople transport from place to place. Boaters and anglers can inadvertently transport ANS on waders and inbait buckets and live wells. Zebr

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