Component 3
Involve Those Who
Haul Boats for Commercial Purposes


Objective: Prevent the spread of zebra mussels west of the 100 meridian by commercially hauled boats and those hauled for professional fishing tournaments.

A. Commercial Boat Haulers
Between 1993 and l998, zebra mussels had been found on 18 vessels passing through California Agricultural Inspection stations. Some of these vessels were transported by commercial firms that either specialize in hauling boats or manufacturers of new vessels who haul boats on return trips to their boat yards. Although some firms often require a power wash of the outside surface, not everyone practices this procedure. Even if this procedure is followed, it may not be effective in removing all zebra mussels. Consequently, live organisms may remain on the hull and in crevices, bilges, bait wells, and cooling systems of motors. Component III will be supported through information and education, certification, and inspection programs.

The information program will involve locating and calling firms that haul boats commercially. Through these calls and follow up correspondence, the firms will be informed of the zebra mussel problem and alert them to the possibility that they may be transporting zebra mussels and other ANS to uninfested waters and what they can do to avoid their transport to 100th meridian jurisdictions and west. Meetings will be conducted with representatives of these firms to reinforce the importance of their participation. Hopefully, through this interaction, firms will support inspection training for key employees and boat inspections for vessels that will be hauled by these firms. If the firm agrees, a certification program would be implemented to teach key employees how to properly inspect and clean vessels and related equipment. Certificates will be given to firm employees who successfully complete the inspection training. These certified inspectors would inspect all vessels that were in contaminated water before they are hauled to uncontaminated areas. If they are free of zebra mussels and other ANS, the vessels will receive an inspection sticker to be placed on the vessel's windshield.

B. Boats Hauled for Professional Fishing Tournaments
Numerous professional fishing tournaments are held around the country requiring boats be transported from one body of water to another, including those from zebra mussel infested to uninfested waters. Although some tournaments require participants to sign a statement that they are not carrying exotic species, this requirement is spotty and ineffective. Information, certification, and inspection programs will be implemented to help ensure that zebra mussels are not spread by those involved with professional fishing tournaments. Also State and tribal agencies will be encouraged to implement tournament regulations addressing the transport of ANS.

As part of the information program, material about zebra mussels and other ANS issues will be available at fishing tournaments. Tournament organizers will be contacted and informed about the zebra mussel problem and how they can help prevent their spread in the 100th meridian jurisdictions and west. Through this information program, the tournament organizers may ask participants to inspect their boats before the tournament begins.

Tournament organizers will be encouraged to support inspections conducted by trained tournament representatives. Training would be provided on how to properly inspect and clean boats and related equipment to be used during fishing tournaments. Those who have successfully completed inspection training would be certified. Boat inspections would be conducted by certified tournament inspectors. Any boat that is free of zebra mussels and other ANS will receive an inspection sticker on its windshield. Under this scenario only boats with these stickers would be allowed. participate in the tournaments.

 

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