Boat Inspections become mandatory in Manitoba

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BOATERS REMINDED STOPPING IS REQUIRED
AT MANITOBA INSPECTION STATIONS

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Travel Authorization May Be Required
To Get Boat to Winter Storage

Manitoba boaters and anyone transporting any watercraft in the province are required by law to pull over and stop at aquatic invasive species (AIS) inspection stations, Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox said today.

“As we near the end of open water season, we ask that Manitobans take extra precaution to ensure they are not transporting aquatic invasive species when moving watercrafts,” said Cox.  “The best and most effective measures to reduce the spread of AIS come from Manitobans taking action to clean, drain and dry their watercraft and other vessels, and dispose of water and bait in a way that does not move unwanted invasive species to another water body.”

It is illegal to possess or transport aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels in Manitoba.  Zebra mussels have been found in Lake Winnipeg, the Red River and Cedar Lake north of Lake Winnipegosis.

Highway inspection stations were recently set up at Grand Rapids, Eriksdale, Swan River, The Pas and the RM of St. Clements.  There is also an inspection station with a decontamination unit at Selkirk Park boat launch and an inspection station, but no decontamination unit, at the St. Vital Park boat launch.

Everyone is required to do their part and ensure that before removing any watercraft from the shore of the water body they:
• inspect watercraft and water-related equipment;
• clean and remove any aquatic plants and AIS from the watercraft, trailer and all water-related equipment;
• drain all water from the watercraft including motor, bilge, bait buckets and any compartments; and
• completely dry all water-related equipment and any hard-to-drain compartments that have contacted the water before it is used in any other body of water.

The province recognizes that as people prepare to move their boats to winter storage it may not be possible to find or remove all zebra mussels before leaving the shore.  In that situation, a transportation authorization can be requested, which will allow the movement of a watercraft that may contain AIS.

Extra measures are required for control zones which are areas where AIS have been found or expected to be spread.  All water-related craft or equipment leaving a control zone water body must be decontaminated before being placed into another water body.  Also, before leaving a control zone, all live bait must be disposed of in the trash.

When transporting watercraft on land, remember the drain plug and all other valves or other devices used to drain water must be removed or left open.  It is the law in Manitoba to clean, drain, dry and dispose.

Boaters can get more information on how to obtain a transportation authorization or to find when the watercraft inspection program is operating by visiting www.manitoba.ca/stopais.

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Don Lamont - The Complete Angler Don Lamont has been a full time professional angler for 34 years, hosting and producing the award winning “The Complete Angler” television series for fifteen of those. Don has received several awards for his commitment to public education and the future of recreational fishing in Canada. Those include a 2000 Canadian Recreational Fisheries Award for his work with Manitoba’s Urban Angling Partnership. In 2003 he received a Manitoba Tourism Award for his promotion of Manitoba and western Canada. In 2004 he was a finalist at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada National Award for Tourism Excellence, presented by The Globe and Mail. Don has been a regular fishing columnist in the Winnipeg Free Press since 1992 and is currently editor of Hooked Magazine.

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