Report highlights 2018 Boat Inspection Program results

Report highlights 2018 Boat Inspection Program results

News

We’ve just released our annual report highlighting results from our seventh season of watercraft inspections to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species to Whatcom County waters.

In 2018, we conducted a total of 12,444 watercraft inspections at Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. The inspected watercraft came from a total of 267 different water bodies in 29 different states or provinces prior to launching at Lake Whatcom or Lake Samish in 2018, 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 waters.

The 2018 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 four boats that had recently been in mussel-infested waters and found 150 boats with vegetation and 193 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.

More detailed results from the 2018 boating season can be found in the Whatcom Boat Inspections 2018 Annual Report and by viewing our interactive Story Map.

New Zealand mudsnails found at Lake Padden

New Zealand mudsnails found at Lake Padden

News

City of Bellingham and Whatcom County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program staff have recently discovered invasive New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in Lake Padden and are working to determine the extent of the infestation and develop a coordinated long-term response plan.

To prevent the spread of this prohibited species to other water bodies, AIS staff urge anyone coming into contact with Lake Padden to inspect and carefully clean all clothing, gear, and watercraft, prior to leaving the lake area. Clean, Drain and Dry any watercraft after use and thoroughly brush-off any debris from waders, boots, gear, and any equipment that came into contact with lake water, then rinse with clean water. Additionally, pet owners are advised to limit their pets’ exposure and clean pets thoroughly after contact with the lake.

Bellingham and Whatcom County AIS staff periodically monitor Whatcom County lakes for any evidence of new aquatic invasive species; as a result, New Zealand mudsnails were detected at Lake Padden in late August. Their identity was confirmed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and a taxonomic expert on Sept. 10. This is the first confirmed sighting of this aquatic invasive species in Whatcom County. According to WDFW, the first discovery in Washington state happened in 2002 in the Lower Columbia River estuary, and while the number of infested sites within the state is rising, it is still fewer than 20 areas.

New Zealand mudsnails are very small, only 4-6 millimeters, with a relatively long, narrow, spiral shell that is generally brown to almost black in color. Like other aquatic invasive species, they disrupt ecosystems by rapidly multiplying and competing with native species for space and food. This species has no known predators or parasites in Washington state that can keep populations in check and the species’ small size makes it easy for anglers, boaters, and anyone coming into contact with the water to unknowingly transport it between waterbodies. The New Zealand mudsnail’s ability to completely seal its shell allows the snail to survive out of the water for several weeks in cool, damp conditions. To date, eradication of New Zealand mudsnails once they have infested a waterbody has not been feasible in Washington; however, there are effective options to prevent their spread to uninfested lakes, streams and rivers.

“It is important that we move quickly to determine the extent of the infestation and to determine the best response options to minimize their spread to other area waterbodies,” said Teagan Ward, AIS program coordinator for the City of Bellingham. “We are working closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Invasive Species Councilto develop a coordinated response strategy.”  In the meantime, AIS Program staff are conducting surveys at Lake Padden and surrounding waterbodies to map the extent of the infestation. Signs have been posted by the swimming area at Lake Padden and AIS Program staff will be available to provide information to lake users.

If you suspect that you have found a New Zealand mudsnail (or any other aquatic invasive species) in another waterway, please report your information using the Washington Invasive Species Council’s WA Invasives website form or app today (Apple iOS Version | Android Version) or by calling the AIS hotline at (360) 778-7975.  When reporting an AIS sighting provide as much information as possible including close-up photos of the organism, the exact location (GPS coordinates work best), a description of what you found, and your contact information.

For more information about New Zealand mudsnails and other aquatic invasive species, visit wdfw.wa.gov/ais/.

Bloedel and Samish inspection stations move to fall hours

Bloedel and Samish inspection stations move to fall hours

News

September 30th marks the end of the 2018 summer boating season for the Whatcom Boat Inspection Program. Aquatic invasive species inspectors conducted over 12,000 inspections in 2018 in an effort to protect our local waterways.

Inspections will be available intermittently at Bloedel Donovan and Lake Samish through the month of October, weather permitting. Call the Whatcom Boat Inspection Program at (360) 778-7975 to confirm hours or to schedule an on-site appointment.

Thank you to all our boaters for a great season! Please remember to clean, drain, and dry your boats and gear to protect our local lakes!

Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish Inspection Stations Open April 21

Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish Inspection Stations Open April 21

News

Boat inspection stations at Bloedel Donovan, South Bay, and Lake Samish will be opening for the season starting on April 21, 2018. Inspectors will be checking both the interior and exterior of all watercraft to see that they are clean, drained, and dry and are not at risk for transporting aquatic invasive species to our local waters.

Aquatic Invasive Species Permits are required for all watercraft prior to launching or operating on Lake Whatcom or Lake Samish. For more information on permit fees visit Annual Permits and Fees. You may purchase your permits at the time of inspection by credit/debit card. If you re-take the online AIS Awareness Course in 2018, you may be eligible for a $10 discount to be applied to each annual permit you are purchasing.

Opening Day Hours of Operation (4/21/2018):

Bloedel Donovan: 5:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Lake Samish WDFW Launch: 5:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

South Bay WDFW Launch: 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

For more information on our seasonal hours of operation visit Inspection Locations or call (360) 778-7975.

From all of our 2018 inspectors, we wish you a very fun and safe boating season!

We need boats for 2018 Inspector Training

We need boats for 2018 Inspector Training

News

We are looking for all types of watercraft for our 2018 Watercraft Inspector Training on April 11 and 12. Volunteers will provide their boats for new and returning staff to get familiar with boat parts and inspection and decontamination procedures. We need a variety of boats including pleasure, fishing, PWCs, and ski or wakeboard boats. In exchange for volunteering your vessel, we will provide you with a $10 discount on your 2018 Annual Permit!

Please contact the Whatcom Boat Inspection Program at 778-7975 or email ais@cob.org if you are interested in volunteering your boat.

2018 permits now available

2018 permits now available

News

2018 aquatic invasive species (AIS) permits are now available. Call (360) 778-7975 to schedule an appointment to get your watercraft inspected.

Interested in hosting a group inspection in your neighborhood? Call (360) 778-7975 to schedule a group inspection with us.

AIS check stations at Bloedel Donovan, South Bay, and Lake Samish open for the season on April 21, 2018. Check this site for updates regarding our hours of operation.

2018 AIS Permits and Fees:

  • Annual Motorized/Registered Permit: $50 (Get a $10 discount by taking the online course)
  • 3-Day Pass (Motorized/Registered only): $20 (No discount available — Valid for 3 consecutive days only)
  • Annual Non-Motorized Permit: $10 (Get a $10 discount by taking the online course)
Report highlights 2017 Boat Inspection Program results

Report highlights 2017 Boat Inspection Program results

News

We’ve just released our annual report highlighting results from our sixth season of watercraft inspections to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species to Whatcom County waters.

In 2017, we conducted a total of 12,150 watercraft inspections at Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. The inspected watercraft came from a total of 285 different water bodies in 26 different states or provinces prior to launching at Lake Whatcom or Lake Samish in 2017, including fourteen 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 waters.

The 2017 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 five boats that had recently been in mussel-infested waters and found 150 boats with vegetation and another 175 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.

More detailed results from the 2017 boating season can be found in the Whatcom Boat Inspections 2017 Annual Report and by viewing our interactive Story Map.

Bloedel Donovan boat launch to temporarily close for construction

Bloedel Donovan boat launch to temporarily close for construction

News

Parking will be limited Feb. 15 – Feb. 28

The Bloedel Donovan boat launch at Lake Whatcom will be unavailable from Feb. 15 through Feb. 28 for construction. The City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department will be replacing the floating docks and piling. The existing facility is antiquated, damaged and beyond its intended design life. The new docks and piling will provide a level walking surface and greatly improve everyone’s boat launching experience for years to come. This project is partially funded by a Boating Facility Grant through the State of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office.

Pile driving is expected to occur the week of Feb. 15 through Feb. 28. There will be limited access to the lower boat trailer parking lot and launch area during this time.

Construction activity at the boat launch is expected to occur again during the first two weeks of May 2018 while the old floats are moved out and the new ones are brought in. There will be periods of time during the construction window when the boat ramp area is unavailable for launching boats.

For more information about this project and others, please visit the City’s website at www.cob.org or call 360-778-7000.

(Originally posted on the City of Bellingham website on February 6, 2018)

Media Contact:

Gina Gobo Austin, PE
Bellingham Parks and Recreation
(360) 778-7000
gaustin@cob.org

Bloedel and Samish inspection stations move to fall hours

Bloedel and Samish inspection stations move to fall hours

News

September 30th marked the end of the 2017 summer boating season for the Whatcom Boat Inspection Program. Aquatic invasive species inspectors conducted over 12,000 inspections in 2017 in an effort to protect our local waterways.

Inspections will be available intermittently at Bloedel Donovan and Lake Samish through the month of October, weather permitting. Call the Whatcom Boat Inspection Program at (360) 778-7975 to confirm hours or to schedule an on-site appointment.

Thank you to all our boaters for a great season! Please remember to clean, drain, and dry your boats and gear to protect our local lakes!

Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish Inspection Stations Open April 22

Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish Inspection Stations Open April 22

News

Boat inspection stations at Bloedel Donovan, South Bay, and Lake Samish will be opening for the season starting on April 22, 2017. Inspectors will be checking both the interior and exterior of all watercraft to see that they are clean, drained, and dry and are not at risk for transporting aquatic invasive species to our local waters.

Aquatic Invasive Species Permits are required for all watercraft prior to launching or operating on Lake Whatcom or Lake Samish. For more information on permit fees visit Annual Permits and Fees. You may purchase your permits at the time of inspection by credit/debit card. If you re-take the online AIS Awareness Course in 2017, you may be eligible for a $10 discount to be applied to each annual permit you are purchasing.

Opening Day Hours of Operation (4/22/2017):

Bloedel Donovan: 4:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Lake Samish WDFW Launch: 5:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

South Bay WDFW Launch: 6:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

For more information on our seasonal hours of operation visit Inspection Locations or call (360) 778-7975.

From all of our 2017 inspectors, we wish you a very fun and safe boating season!