By Ron Brown
ASHLAND, Ore. — Sunshine and blue skies are drawing more people than ever to the lakes and rivers around Southern Oregon. It’s also bringing boat inspectors to main Oregon ports-of-entry, including this one at Ashland.
ODFW aquatic invasive species prevention technicians are looking for signs of plants or animals not native to Oregon that might be attached to boats and trailers. New state law say all boats need to be inspected to stop the spread of species that could drastically upset Oregon’s water eco-systems.
“Every once in awhile we get boats that come in that will have zebra and quagum mussells on them,” says Boat Inspector Sam Dodenhoff. “And when we find something like that, whether they’re dead or alive, we physically have to remove them from the boat, in order for them to pass our inspection.”
They do that with this high-pressure washer and very hot water, to be sure the organisms are dead. Boat ramps also have information sign s posted, explaining the need to stop the spread of aquatic invasive plants and animals.