SALEM—Boaters headed to Oregon waterways this weekend may be asked to stop to have their motorboat or paddlecraft inspected in an effort to keep Oregon’s waters healthy and free of invasive species. Inspection stations will be operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at highway rest stops near Klamath Falls, Salem, Baker City and Central Point as well as at boat ramps on lakes and reservoirs.
Travelers are asked to look for “Boat Inspection Ahead” signs and be prepared to pull off at the rest area. Inspections will be done Wednesday through Saturday and usually take about 10 minutes if boats are free of invasive species. If a boat is found to be contaminated with quagga or zebra mussels, it will be held until it can be cleaned by a mobile decontamination team.
By voluntarily stopping for boat inspections, a boater is not subject to penalties or fines associated with transporting aquatic invasive species.
Stopping the spread of invasive species—quagga and zebra freshwater mussels; water-borne diseases and viruses; New Zealand mudsnails; and aquatic plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil—is critical to the health of Oregon’s waters and economy. Motorboats and non-motorized boats are capable of spreading New Zealand mudsnails and invasive aquatic plants that are already located in Oregon.
The boat inspection stations are part of the Oregon Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program being run by ODFW and the Oregon Marine Board. The program is funded by the sale of Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention permits which were established by the 2009 State Legislature. The law requires operators of motorboats and paddlecraft (non-motorized crafts) that are 10 feet long or longer to have a permit.
Invasive species are identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy as one of the biggest threats to the state’s native fish, wildlife and habitat.
How boaters can help
- After boating, clean boat and gear thoroughly
- Inspect boats, trailers and motors for the presence of any aquatic species prior to and after use in any water body
- Remove all vegetation and discard in the trash
- Drain and flush the bilge, live well, bait buckets or any other internal compartments of any standing water
- Clean and scrub hulls, motors, anchors and trailers - then hose down with hot and/or high pressure water
- Allow cleaned boats to dry if possible for at least five days before using again
- Remember: Clean, Drain and Dry
Who needs an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit?
Registered Motorboats - resident and non-resident: Oregon registered motorboats pay a $5 fee as part of their boat registration; a current registration decal is proof that the fee has been paid.
Non-residents: Operators who trailer a motorized boat into the state and launch in Oregon’s waters are required to purchase an annual non-resident permit for $22. Permits may be purchased on the ODFW website or at ODFW license agents.
Non-motorized boats - resident and non-resident: Each manually powered boat (drift boat, canoe, kayak, etc.) 10 feet long or longer must have a permit onboard. Permits are $7 ($5 plus $2 agent fee) and may be purchased on the ODFW website or at ODFW license agents. These permits are interchangeable: The name on the permit does not matter as long as each boat has a permit. A person can purchase multiple permits in their name for use by family members and friends. Clubs can purchase multiple permits for use by members and friends from the Oregon Marine Board. Children 13 years of age and younger are not required to have a permit.
Washington and Idaho boaters: Washington and Idaho motorboats do need a permit when boating in Oregon’s state waters including lakes, reservoirs, the Multnomah Channel, the Willamette, Deschutes, John Day and other rivers.
Washington and Idaho boaters do not need a permit while boating in the Columbia or Snake rivers, including boat launch sites in Oregon on the Columbia or Snake rivers or tributaries within one river mile of the Columbia and Snake for the purposes of accessing the Snake and Columbia rivers.
For more information, visit the Oregon Marine Board or ODFW websites: