Meeting May 26 to discuss Aquatic Invasive Species
by Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources (TRW) Committee
May 23, 2011
A public meeting of the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources (TRW) Committee will be held in Pinedale on May 26 to provide an opportunity for the public to discuss the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program in Wyoming. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at the Sublette County Library.
The meeting will include information on the AIS program size, type and funding needs and review whether or not the current AIS program is providing adequate protection of aquatic habitats and water delivery systems in Wyoming.
Last year more than 42,000 boats were inspected at 36 different waters in Wyoming with 26 boats requiring decontamination, but it is certain many boats were launched without inspection as not all waters have inspection crews all the time. Through boater interviews, it was found that boaters launching in Wyoming had visited over 800 waters from 45 states within 30 days prior to launching. Depending on temperature and humidity, zebra and quagga mussels can live for up to 30 days out of water.
In 2010, WGFD monitored 44 Wyoming waters and no AIS were found. It is anticipated 2011 AIS efforts will be comparable to last year’s program. Inspections for watercraft started May 18 and will continue through the end of September.
With one year of experience and the costs of the current program known it is a good time for the community of waters users to discuss if the current AIS program adequately protects Wyoming’s waters. How to best balance program costs against prevention needs are issues that all water surface users should have the opportunity to discuss. The Chairmen of the Joint Committee of TRW and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department encourage you to attend the meeting in Pinedale.