Oregon Fighting Invasive Species.

Invasive species are a huge problem our ecosystems are facing in today’s world. You may have heard about the zebra muscles in the Great Lakes, or Asian Carp in the Midwest, or even Tui Chubs in our own backyard at Diamond Lake. All of these unwanted guests wreck havoc in the ecosystems and cost us millions of dollars every year to fight.

Photo by Bill Monroe of the Oregonian

Once a species becomes established it is extremely hard, and sometimes impossible to control. The best way to stop invasive species is to prevent them from entering the state to begin with. Oregon is trying to be proactive with HB 3399 which will require all private watercraft to stop and be inspected at check points. There will be four teams operating out of the cities of Clackamas, Central Point, Madras, & LaGrande.

Here’s a few things to know about the bill…

  •  The inspection stations will be unannounced and random, and will be located along highways and at boat ramps.
  • All watercraft will be required to be inspected when passing an inspection station. That includes boats, rafts, canoes, etc…
  • You won’t be required to search out an inspection station. You’ll only have to stop for one if it is present.
  • Failure to stop will result in a $90 fine.
  • There will be no penalties if invasive species are found
  • The inspection is only good until you next launch the boat. After an inspection a red tag will be placed on your boat, which will have to be cut off before you can launch again. If you pass another inspection station after launching you will have to stop once again.
  • The bill is supposed to be self funding by the invasive aquatic permits that you already have to buy for watercraft.

Overall, I believe the bill is a very good idea. The best way to curb invasive species is by being proactive and this is a good start. It does have a limited reach, so hopefully they will target areas where out of state watercraft are entering. The one negative I foresee, as well as many others, is the delay it will cause for boaters. With the inspections being announced you will have no way of knowing if you should add extra time to your trip. This could potentially cause some delays if you’re trying to get on the water for the 0 dark ‘thirty bite. That aside I am glad Oregon is taking this step.

How do you feel about this issue? Do you think these inspection stations will help keep invasive species out of Oregon? Let me know how you feel in a comment below.

5 thoughts on “Oregon Fighting Invasive Species.

  1. @Mark – I agree somewhat. If they are just targeting in state boats its nothing more than a feel good measure. If, however, they do the inspections at entrance points into the state then it can be very effective. We don’t have the zebra muscles or any of the other really bad one’s in the state yet so that is where they need to concentrate their effort.

  2. feel good measure pure and simple – they will do litle to nothing to actually combat invasive species, but just justifies the continued collection of the ‘invasive species permits’ – which themselves are silly. A 9′ boat is just as capable of transmitting nasties as a 20 footer, not to mention all the little inflatable craft like air mattresses, inner tubes, etc. that people fart around with all over – and don’t bother to wash off before going to the next lake with them. Those can move hitch hikers around too.

    And so long as we’ve got ships coming into our harbors from foriegn ports (where the biggest threat really is from) there’s always going to be that russian roulette game going on.

    It’s just going to be another pain in the ass that the government is pushing on us that we’ll wind up getting used to – just like certain other hard to justify feel good agencies/actions, but that’s a rant I won’t get into here & now. Would rather see the money and effort spent to find a way to erradicate or control the non native species in the water, without killing off the native life.

  3. I have to totally agree with the bill being passed. I remember watching an episode on the discovery channel which talked about this exact issue, and how many native species are practically decimated by foreign introduced species. Very interesting post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.