Watercraft Rinse Station
portable solar powered boat washing station at Pritchard Creek on the Snake
River and plans for additional
Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Lake are host to a number of watercraft that either reside in or visit Colorado River impoundments over the winter. Regulations require marina concessionaires in Grand Teton to notify outsiders of cleaning requirements before launching. Yellowstone is preparing a high tech transportable cleaning station for launch areas and marinas. Last summer Fremont County, Idaho where popular Henrys Lake attracts angling boaters from around the country, installed several mechanical wash stations to prevent the spread of Eurasian water milfoil from plowing into the shallow, rich lake. The Snake River Fund previewed the first portable solar powered boat washing station at Pritchard Creek on the Snake River and has plans for additional units. ProtectYourWaters.net
Idaho is poised to fight the invasion of quagga mussels, tiny little creatures that wreak tremendous havoc in waterways and water pipes. The mussels are typically introduced into new states by infected boats.
The mussels produce millions of eggs that get stuck on boat hulls and in bilges. Once in a river, they move downstream. The House State Affairs. Committee on Wednesday unanimously voted to print a bill sponsored by Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, requiring all boats in Idaho waters to have a special sticker that would fund prevention programs. Motorized boats registered in Idaho would pay $10 a year for the sticker. Boats coming into Idaho but registered out of state would have to pay $20. The cost for nonmotorized boats would be $5 annually. Boaters caught on Idaho waterways without the sticker would be subject to a $100 fine. The stickers would fund informational programs and special high-pressure washing stations.
If Idaho fails to act, the most conservative estimate of the mussels' economic impact is $94 million a year to maintain and clear out water
systems, Anderson said. " The impacts across the state will be extreme," Anderson said. "We must act. I don't know how much more I can prevail on you than this."
Proposed site at Regatta Park off West Devils Lake Road
PADL chair Susie Fischer shows off sweatshirt with stop invasive species information from the Newport High School marine biology class.
Donations can be made to PADL at P.O. Box 36, Lincoln City, OR 97367. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed.
Brazilian elodea and Eurasian water milfoil invade Devils Lake
New Zealand mudsnail invades Devils Lake
2004 - By late 2004 mudsnails had also been reported in Devil's Lake (Lincoln City)
2006 - PADL begins fund raising with kayak mini-regatta at the Union 50 Club
1/07 - Quagga Mussels found in Lake Mead in Nevada: Native to the Ukraine, this invasive freshwater bivalve is slightly larger than the zebra mussel, more tolerant of deeper, colder waters and can colonize both rocky and sandy substrates.
2008 - PADL members Julie and Bill Sexton volunteer to lead construction of the station
PADL committee of Julie Sexton, Paul Robertson and Raylene Erickson meet
4/08 - OPB film "The Silent Invasion" premiere at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport
4/22/08 - OPB film "The Silent Invasion" premieres on TV on Earth Day
5/08 - Devils Lake Water Improvement District grants $2,500 to PADL for station
6/08 - Julie Sexton appears before the Lincoln City City Council with Lincoln City Parks and Recreation Director Ron Ploger and receives preliminary approval to pursue plans for a station at Regatta Grounds. The Lincoln City Council asked to be updated on plans.
6/08 - OPB sends PADL a DVD of their film "The Silent Invasion", GardenSmart Oregon booklets and Invasive Species magnets and booklets.
6/08 - PADL sends out appeal letter to PADL members and sends out GardenSmart Oregon booklets
6/28//08 - OSU Sea Grant extension assistant professor Sam Chan speaks at annual meeting and makes donation for station. Sam donates copies of the Oregon Sea Grant "Invasive Species" booklet
6/29/08 - D River invasive species Quest begins. Books are available at the Lincoln City Commuinity Center for $6.00.
2008 - "Don't Move a Mussel" video by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission www.psmfc.org available for viewing.
Station manual from Maine and L.L. Bean - one tool to prevent
the spread of invasive species. Notify PADL if you know of funding
to construct a boat wash station. download
Read about Diamond Lake, Oregon. Visitors suspected of towing a hot boat will be steered toward a new portable pressure-washing system for a little pre-launch cleaning. www.mailtribune.com
Lake Tahoe's invasive weeds are being controlled through an intensive management program including mechanical harvest techniques, boater education and pursuing installation of boat wash stations at boat ramps . www.trpa.org (Lake Tahoe now requires boat inspections)
PADL member and DLWID board member Jack Strayer sent the following:
I have attended
some meetings where boat wash stations were discussed. I have some
questions for you about the PADL station that you are working on.
Wisconsin DNR pdf
of Wisconsin’s invasive species program is a consistent
list of prevention steps, which is emphasized in all public education
brochures, pamphlets, watch cards, public service announcements and signage.
Boat washing is just one of the prevention steps, and installation
of a wash
station should accompany other education efforts focusing on all of the
Lake Tahoe has
five boat wash stations
Lake Tahoe now
requires boat inspections to deter quagga mussels from invading
takes over zebra mussel habitat
The calcium connection
for quagga and zebra mussels researched by Thom Whittier, Alan Herlihy from
Oregon State University and geographer Sue Pierson with Indus Corporation
in Corvallis, Oregon:
This article is about Zebra Mussels but includes some info on quagga.
See the article below from www.frontiersinecology.org
Quagga mussel and calcium
Fund Raising Event
Devils Lake Kayak Mini-Regatta
Fallen Leaf Lake
(CA): Boat Wash Program for Invasive Species
Noxious Times – Spring Issue
Aquatic weeds are already a serious problem for many of California’s waterways, but preventing the introduction of new invasives is important for all of them. According to Mike Kraft, a group of community leaders at Fallen Leaf Lake have devised a boat wash program in order to slow or prevent the growth of unwanted exotic plant and animal species at the lake. Kraft said that Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, and New Zealand mud snails are the prime invasive species targeted by their boat wash program. “These types of species pose a major threat to the healthy ecosystem currently enjoyed at Fallen Leaf Lake, “said Kraft. If one or more of these invasive species were to establish, it could have a dramatic impact on the lake’s wildlife, including lake minnows, cutthroat trout, Mackinaw trout, crayfish, ducks, Canada geese, and American bullfrogs. These aquatic invaders could also impede recreation and would be extremely costly to eliminate.
The program will be operated by the boat launch/marina manager and will require boaters to wash their vessels, trailers, and engine components prior to entering the lake. A holding tank will capture the water from the wash and will distribute it to an existing leach field where any invasive species will be unable to survive. Fallen Leaf Lake area residents have generously donated all equipment and labor for the boat wash.
Hopefully, the program can prevent unwanted foreign species from taking hold at Fallen Leaf Lake, and can serve as a model for preventing weed introductions into other California aquatic environments.
From the Oregon State Marine Board
The Oregon State Marine Board applauds your effort to provide a facility to
help lake users prevent invasive species infestations. This is certainly an
issue of concern to us as we work with the Oregon Invasive Species Council
to develop improved laws and educational tools to prevent the spread of invasives.
Through our involvement with the Council and other organizations, we have learned
a great deal about wash stations and their potential applicability. Unfortunately,
we don't believe they are a silver bullet for prevention, but can be used in
some situations effectively.
Below I will answer the specific questions that are raised in your e-mail.
-> How hot does the water need to be?
For removal of plants and mud, which can carry invasive species such as New Zealand Mud Snails, the main concern is simply to remove the materials. A garden hose with a spray nozel is adequate for this, though high-pressure is better. If it is your wish to remove quagga or zebra mussels, then you would want 140+ degree or more water. Low-end hot water pressure washers can be purchased for $4,000 or more. Temporary containment structures add a few thousand more dollars - permanent containment structures with drainage greatly increase that cost. In addition, there is a high level of lability (injury risk) associated with high-pressure, hot water wash stations. These units - if improperly used - can easily damage boats and trailers and injure users. They also require significant training to use effectively, and they require regular maintenance.
A hot-water pressure washer may not be necessary for a coastal lake. Coastal waters are generally unsuitable for quagga or zebra mussels due to their low dissolved calcium levels. Further, the number of boats entering the state as infested is small, so presumably the number of infested vessels headed to Devils Lake would be even much smaller. Without an inspection program in place at Oregon's boarders, it is highly unlikely that an infested vessel would be identified prior to launch. If an inspection program were initiated specifically at Devils Lake, other far-cheaper options exist for decontamination if an infested boat was found, including simply cleaning the boat well and letting it air-dry for the correct period of time.
To put it in perspective, only two known contaminated boats entered Oregon in 2008 and both were decontaminated by mobile wash stations. Programs implemented at Diamond Lake and several other lakes inspected and surveyed nearly 1000 boats in 2008 and none were found to be at risk of a mussel infestation. (Several were sent to have vegetation removed.) In short, it would take a broad inspection effort to catch a boat at Devils Lake - without it, the odds are low that a contaminated vessel would be identified.
In addition, a wash station designed to decontaminate a mussel-infested boat must be well-removed from the water's edge, and it must be operated by an trained individual. A thorough decontamination takes approximately one hour and thirty minutes and even then, decontaminations are not necessarily 100% effective. Other states are not only requiring hot-water decontamination, but a period of air-drying. With nearly 1,000 boat ramps in the state, and with other access points being identified as potentially high risk, the Marine Board is not likely to invest in a significant infrastucture development for the purpose of mussel decontamination at Devils Lake. Other options are just as effective and far more affordable. We have in fact invested and coordinated development of four mobile hotwater wash stations that can respond in the rare instance that a contaminated vessel enters the state. These are strategically placed to respond to high-risk waterbodies or at border crossings if needed.
A low-pressure option is much simpler to implement and lacks the high liability, high cost and maintenance that a high-pressure, hot water system would require. In some cases, the solution already exists with just a little modification. Are there R/V dump sites at the location? Can they be modified with an asphalt or concrete berm to move water into the drain? A 30 gallon drum can be placed nearby so boaters can properly dispose of bait and vegetation. Such a system, well-signed, would provide a good opportunity for people to remove aquatic vegetation and mud.
-> Is the Regatta Park the best location considering there are several launch sites?
Based on the results of the 2005 Triennial Survey, the majority of boat launches occur at the state park, followed by the Regatta Grounds Park, followed closely by "Private Site". University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program found that wash stations are a leaky seive unless they cover 100 percent of the access points, boaters are well trained and/or the facility is staffed 24/7, the public accepts them and the constraints that come with them, their cost is acceptable, the safety and liability concerns are addressed and the catchment and treatment of wastewater is appropriately implemented. The multiple access points make it difficult to catch even a majority of the users on any given day, unless staffing and facilities are implemented at each of them. If you're interested, I can send you a powerpoint produced by Minnesota Sea Grant in 2006 that summerizes these issues.
-> Where does the effluent go?
It's up the city and perhaps DEQ to determine if the effluent can go into their system. I think most systems could probably handle it but that's a conversation to have with the city once the scope of the program is understood.
-> Does the station need to be manned to be effective?
A Marine Board staffer attended special training at Lake Mead last summer learning to wash down infested boats. It is apparent that it takes a well-trained individual to guarantee that a vessel was not a contamination threat. In fact, because there are so many types of boats, most trained individuals would still be uncomfortable releasing a "just decontaminated" vessel to launch in an uninfested waterbody. Typically the boat is released but with the requirement that it remain out of the water for a period of time. A standardized decontamination and inspection protocol is currently being developed for the west coast. Additionally, the Marine Board is working with other state agencies to support improved legislation and train law enforcement, state and federal employees and volunteers to look for and report potentially infested vessels. We also coordinated an effort with Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife to develop the enforcement protocol to help law enforcement detain and initiate a decontamination if necessary.
The East Coast of the US has worked with wash stations for decades now and we try to learn from them. Millions of dollars have been wasted on ineffectively implemented facilities. The states that have effectively prevented the spread of invasives had the foresight to implement strong legislation and fund aggressive prevention efforts, including outreach, education and mobile wash stations. Generally, a strong education program is the best option. Good signage at the local level, directions to existing wash facilities, intermittent "courtesy" inspections and other outreach programs are far more cost effective than funding construction of a small number of wash stations. Based on the data, a significant investment in infrastructure would only be served if all access points to the waterbody are controlled, and if they can be staffed by well-trained individuals at all times. Such an investment would, given our limited and declining funds, be in lieu of statewide efforts to protect high-risk waterbodies elsewhere in the state.
At a community level, a basic, well-managed wash station can provide an educational opportunity to help boaters learn to remove invasive plants and animals from their watercraft. Paddlecraft and powerboats alike can benefit from this. A temporary wash station set up on a busy boating weekend is an excellent tool to demonstrate clean boating techniques. The Marine Board is currently coordinating a multi-agency effort to develope new signage aimed at invasive species prevention. If you have interest in these tools, please contact Glenn Dolphin at OSMB for further information and assistance. You can reach him at (503) 378-2625.
Operations Policy Analyst
Oregon Marine Board
From Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
considering a boat washing facility…
DNR and Extension staff receives a number of questions on the feasibility of installing boat washing stations at
water access sites. (See Chapter 3 for legal questions and answers concerning boat launches and wash stations.)
The stations could be used as tools to reduce the risk of transport of aquatic invasive species by recreational
boaters. Wisconsin has not conducted any studies to determine the feasibility of using boat wash facilities. However,
other states and provinces (Minnesota and Ontario) have tested various applications of boat washing stations,
both permanent and portable, under mandatory and volunteer situations. From those studies, we have learned:
Boat washing facilities should not be considered as a substitute for the steps that the aquatic invasive
species program asks boaters to take when leaving the launch site.
The cornerstone of Wisconsin’s invasive species program is a consistent list of prevention steps, which is
emphasized in all public education brochures, pamphlets, watch cards, public service announcements and
signage. Those steps can be found on page 114 of this chapter. Boat washing is just one of the prevention steps,
and installation of a wash station should accompany other education efforts focusing on all of the steps.
Boat washing stations are a costly alternative to an effective watercraft inspection program and a
well-planned education campaign.
There are several issues to consider before the installation of washing stations:
Costs for construction and maintenance of these facilities;
Physical constraints for installation of the stations;
Washing cannot be made mandatory for all boaters;
Safety of the facility and liability are issues;
Practical concerns about how best to capture and treat the waste water;
Boaters acceptance of delays due to washing; and
Unresolved legal questions related to whether fees can be charged for cleaning boats as a condition of
There are circumstances and situations under which it may be advisable to install a boat wash facility.
If prevention and containment is a serious issue or a condition of a permit or if there is a venue where heavy use
is occurring as a result of a specific activity (boating and fishing tournaments or sailing regattas) or heavy boating
periods (July 4th and Labor Day), a boat wash facility may serve an important purpose. In these situations a
portable washing unit could work well as an educational and awareness tool to show boaters how to properly
clean their boats.
If lake organizations are considering installing and operating a boat wash station, the following is a list of
guidelines that should be followed:
The wash station should be part of an overall watercraft inspection and education program, not
simply a substitute for other prevention steps;
Do not require washing as a condition of launching but rather treat boat washing as a voluntary
option to ensure that boaters are doing everything possible to protect the resource;
Use common sense in designing the facility—do not drain the water back to the lake and compost
or put all the waste in the trash;
Give serious thought to whether the facility should be manned or unmanned, portable or
Make sure that a reliable construction firm is in charge of the design, construction and
maintenance of the facility;
Be aware of the safety issues and liability of a wash station and follow all OSHA regulations;
Seek feedback on boater acceptance of the facility, if possible, to improve statewide
understanding of the issue;
Consider installing a boat washing facility for boaters leaving an infested waterbody to prevent
the spread of invasive aquatic species to other waters;
Stay at least 75 feet back from the lake with the placement of any wash station to avoid conflicts
with shoreland zoning regulations;
Use the lake water as a source for the washing facility if possible;
Restrict the use of detergents, algaecides or disinfecting agents that could harm the lake or
Provide clear instructions on how to use the boat washing facility properly and safely and include
an educational message as to why it’s important;
Use high-pressure hot water for the wash facility if possible (it is most effective);
Charge only a reasonable fee for cleaning a boat before launching (such a fee would be based
on the resident state park daily entrance fee).
Please note that specifications on the types of boat washing facilities that are most effective are not readily
available, and are likely to vary based on specific needs. Therefore, they are not included in the guidelines
presented above. Lake organizations can contact their local DNR staff to obtain information on vendors in
their area that could help the community decide what type of wash facility would be most effective for
their particular launch site(s).
The key message that should be shared with all groups that may be interested in installing a boat wash
facility is as follows: wash stations are a poor substitute for an effective education and watercraft inspection
program that emphasizes the basic ‘inspection and removal’ message, BUT washing stations can be one
component of an overall prevention and control strategy.
Copyright © 2003-2011
Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL).
All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 36
Lincoln City, OR 97367