As Wyoming Boating Season Approaches, Required Out-of-State Boat Inspections Begin March 1

Alcova Marina (File photo; Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. – The Wyoming Department of Game and Fisheries said Monday that with the arrival of boating season, any watercraft brought into the state will be required to undergo an invasive species inspection beginning Tuesday, March 1.

Inspections are mandatory for any watercraft brought into the state between March 1 and November 30 and must be performed by a certified Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspector before the watercraft can launch into Wyoming waters.

“Wyoming is one of the few states in the country that hasn’t found invasive zebra or quagga mussels in our waters,” said Game and Fish AIS coordinator Josh Leonard. “Game and Fish is dedicated to keeping these destructive invasive species out of our state’s waters. That’s why it’s crucial that boaters and out-of-state residents who have taken their boat out of Wyoming have their watercraft inspected before setting out on Wyoming waters.

People can find a list of certified AIS inspectors online. Game and Fish said boaters are encouraged to plan inspections in advance.

The AIS Game and Fish control stations will resume their seasonal activities in April. All boaters are required to stop when they arrive at an AIS control station in the state.

“AIS monitoring stations will be open and operational again throughout Wyoming this year at borders, ports of entry and on the shores of popular boating locations,” Leonard said.

Game and Fish said vigilance is the best defense against aquatic invasive species. The ministry recommends people keep boats clean, drained and dry, which will allow for quick stops at checkpoints.

The ministry added that craft that have been used on waters suspected or known to contain invasive mussels in the past 30 days must be inspected before launching. This requirement applies year-round and watercraft may require decontamination.

“If boaters entering Wyoming do not encounter an open AIS check station on their travel itinerary, it is the boater’s responsibility to seek inspection before embarking on any Wyoming waterway,” a added Game and Fish. “Inspection locations can be found on the AIS website.”

“In addition to the watercraft registration, watercraft used on Wyoming waters must have an AIS sticker. A Wyoming AIS sticker must be affixed to all watercraft (including rentals) using Wyoming waters, except exception of non-powered inflatable boats 10 feet in length or less.Although these boats are not required to have a sticker, they still require inspection when coming from out of state.

Watercraft can be launched in Wyoming without further inspection if they have a properly affixed seal from an authorized inspector and have a valid receipt while in transit. The seal can be removed before launch, but the seal and receipt should be kept on board while on the water.

“Even if a craft has already been inspected and has a valid seal and seal receipt, boaters are still required to stop at any open AIS check station,” Game and Fish said. “Having the seal properly affixed and a valid seal receipt will expedite the inspection process.”

“For the latest and most up-to-date information on Wyoming AIS, visit the Game and Fish website. The AIS 2022 sticker is also available online. There is also a combination watercraft registration and AIS sticker that can be purchased for one or three years for boats registered in Wyoming. Personal watercraft users can also call the Game and Fish Office for more information at (307) 777-4600.

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