Don’t just blow past those boat check stations

We have enough barriers to hunting and fishing without having to worry about invasive species cropping up in our state. There’s not much to prevent invasive birds and insects, but there’s something we can do about aquatic nuisance species. And we all need to work together to prevent them.

Coming back from Colorado last weekend, I got passed by an SUV pulling a boat. This happened right around the Wyoming state line, and I figured the guy was just in a hurry to get to the boat check station because he was super excited to have someone make sure he wasn’t inadvertently transporting any unwanted water-borne hitchhikers. But at the boat check station, which was clearly marked with several signs, the guy kept the accelerator floored and blew right past. He even seemed to time it so he would have a semi to screen him as he went past the check station.

I have to say, this made me a bit angry. Maybe the guy only ever puts his boat in the water in one place, and if that’s the case, it really doesn’t matter if his boat is infested with Zebra Mussels or New Zealand Mud Snails, or any of the other aquatic nuisance species. Except that if he hoses his boat off in his driveway, and if his street gutters drain to one of Wyoming’s drainages, he could still be responsible for bringing those damaging species to our waters. And it’s the law, too. Responsible boaters do what’s right. Why should this clown get to drive right by like the law doesn’t affect him?

And if he’s dodging the boat inspection, he probably isn’t checking his boat for vegetation and other debris that could harbor these aquatic nuisances. Chances are he’s probably going to take his boat to some other drainage next weekend, too, and that drainage could well be somewhere in Wyoming.

Please stop at those boat inspection points. They’re there for a reason. Zebra Mussels and New Zealand Mud Snails can cause a lot of damage when they get a foothold. Most of our waters are free of them for now, but it only takes one selfish boater who skips the check point so he can get home in time to watch his football team lose to blow it for all of us.