Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New online Mussel Course available

You shouldn’t have to wait as long to launch your boat in Utah this year. The Division of Wildlife Resources has launched a new online Mussel-Aware Boater program.

In addition to teaching a simple clean, drain and dry process you must follow to keep mussels out of Utah, the program should reduce the time you and other boaters have to spend in line before officials allow you to launch your boat.

You can take the program’s course at www.wildlife.utah.gov/mussels/form_options.php .

The course takes about 40 minutes to complete. Once you’ve answered all of the questions correctly, you can print a certificate that shows you’ve completed the course.

When you arrive at the water you want to boat on, show your certificate to the official at the ramp. And be prepared to answer some brief questions about the waters you’ve recently boated on.

Unless the official needs to decontaminate your boat, that’s it—you should be on the launch ramp within a minute or two.

“We’re really happy with this new course. It’s a win-win for everyone,” says Larry Dalton, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the DWR.

“Waters in Utah win because boaters will learn more about mussels—and the clean, drain and dry process they must follow to keep them out of Utah—than we can teach them at the launch ramps,” he says.

“Boaters win because they won’t have to spend as much time with us. They’ll be able to get their boats on the water faster.”

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

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