Mandatory Boat Inspections Begin in Oregon

Mandatory Boat Inspections Begin in Oregon
Department of Fish & Wildlife

SALEM, Ore.—Motorists hauling boats in Oregon are now required to stop at boat inspection stations to have their watercraft inspected for aquatic invasive species under a bill signed into law by Gov. John Kitzhaber on Aug. 2, 2011. Failure to stop at an inspection station could result in a $142 fine.

On Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oregon State Police will assist Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife boat inspectors with enforcement at the Port of Entry in Ashland. Motorists are alerted to inspections stations by orange “Boat Inspection Ahead” signs. All vehicles carrying kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, sailboats and any other boats, non-motorized or motorized, are required to stop.

Inspections usually take about 10 minutes if boats are free of invasive species. If a boat is found to be contaminated with quagga or zebra mussels, it will be cleaned on site by the boat inspection team with a pressure washer. There is no penalty or cost for the boat owner if their boat is found to be contaminated with invasive species.

When a motor boat passes inspection a zip-tie will be connected from the boat to the trailer as proof the boat has been inspected and is clean to launch. Boaters can easily remove the zip tie when they launch. All boaters will be given a copy of the inspection form. Non-motorized boaters can show their inspection form if requested by law enforcement.

According to Rick Boatner, ODFW Invasive Species Specialist, inspection stations will be set up at roadsides and boat ramps throughout the state. ODFW’s four regional inspection teams are based in Medford, Clackamas, Madras and La Grande.

“Zebra and quagga mussels are established in many states and we want to make sure they don’t end up in our waterbodies,” said Glenn Dolphin, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for the Marine Board. “And, we have to contain the invaders we already have in the state, New Zealand mud snail and Eurasian water milfoil, so they don’t get transported to new areas.”

The Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program is self-supporting, based on the sales of required Aquatic Invasive Species Permits.

How and where to buy an Aquatic Invasive Species Permit

Motorized boat

* Registered motorboat owners do not need to buy a permit; a $5 fee is automatically included in boat registration. Current registration decals are proof of payment.
* Non-resident motorboat permits cost $22 ($20 permit plus $2 agent fee) and are available through ODFW’s online license sales website, at ODFW license sales agents and ODFW offices that sell licenses.

Paddle craft and other non-motorized vessels 10 feet and over

* Annual permits for non-motorized craft (canoe, kayak, drift boat, etc.) cost $7 ($5 permit plus $2 agent fee). This applies to both resident and nonresident boaters.
* Paddle craft permits can be purchased through ODFW’s online license sales website, at ODFW license sales agents, ODFW offices that sell licenses and at Oregon Marine Board dealers.
* Tyvek tag permits are available and cost $5 for a one year permit and $10 for a two year permit. If you want to purchase a Tyvek tag permit, you can order one from the Oregon Marine Board through the mail (pdf). Application available on OMB website.

About paddle craft permits

* If a permit is purchased online, print the permit and enclose it in a zip-lock bag to protect it from water damage.


Rick Boatner, ODFW Invasive Species Coordinator,
Glenn Dolphin, OSMB Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator,

Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.