We’ve just released our annual report highlighting results from our ninth season of watercraft inspections to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species to Whatcom County waters.
New safety and inspection protocols were implemented in 2020 to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Despite a delayed start and the closure of the Canadian border, inspectors conducted a total of 14,777 watercraft inspections at Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish—a 14 percent increase when compared to the 2019 season. The inspected watercraft came from a total of 293 different water bodies in 29 different states or provinces prior to launching at Lake Whatcom or Lake Samish in 2020, including 14 mussel infested waters. As watercraft continue to arrive from high-risk waters, the Whatcom Boat Inspection Program remains an important defense in the protection of our local lakes.
The 2020 inspection results can be viewed using an interactive online Story Map that shows the last water body visited by boats entering Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. We decontaminated six boats that had recently been in mussel-infested waters and found 231 boats with vegetation and 970 boats with standing water on board that required some additional attention. Our inspectors used these situations as an opportunity to educate boaters about the importance of cleaning, draining, and drying their boats between every use.