Clear Lake Proposed Mussel Inspections... S.C. Cnty rubs off

If passed, this could cost non-Lake County boaters up toward $120.00 per year to fish bodies of water within Lake County.

Here is the article at the Lake County Record Bee written by Outdoors Columnist Terry Knight: www.record-bee.com/ci_13708739


New program would require new sticker every month - By Terry Knight -- Record-Bee outdoors columnist
Updated: 11/03/2009 10:32:02 PM PST


The quagga mussel prevention program in Lake County will undergo some profound changes if the Lake County Board of Supervisors adopts the recommendations of the Invasive Species Council.

University of California scientist Greg Giusti chairs the Invasive Species Council and the group is made up of scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) as well as members of the Lake County Board of Supervisors, Lakeport City Council, Lake County Chamber of Commerce and the Big Valley Rancheria, as well as other people with various fields of expertise.

The Council has recommended revising the present practice of issuing annual quagga mussel stickers to out-of-county boaters. The new system will require all out-of-county boats display a colored plastic tie wrap attached to the eye of the boat. The eye is located on the bow and is where the boat is normally tied down to the trailer. The plastic cable tie will have a different color for each month.

For example, red could be for January, blue for February and so on. The non-resident boater would be required to undergo a new screening process each month. He/she would be asked where the boat has been during the past month and if the boat has been in any quagga mussel-infested area. If the answer is no, the boater would be issued a cable tie for that month. If the boat has been in an infested area such as Lake Mead, the boater would be directed to take the boat to another inspector, who would inspect it throroughly before issuing a cable tie if it passed the inspection. If the boat fails the inspection it will be barred from launching at Clear Lake.

The cost of the cable tie would be $10. If a boater registered his boat every month it would come to $120 per year, but the feeling among the Council members is that very few out-of-county boaters actually register their boat every month, and since public launching ramps are free around Clear Lake it's still a bargain.

Lake County residents would continue to be issued a sticker good for the entire time the boat is in the county. To receive a resident sticker, the boater would have to provide proof that the boat is registered in the county. Giusti said he hopes the new system will be in place and operational by Jan. 1.

The new program does face challenges. For one thing, the two municipalities in the county (Lakeport and Clearlake) would have to endorse the program (Lakeport already has). I don't believe the current county ordinance on the quagga mussel applies to the cities and if Lakeport and Clearlake don't enforce the ordinance, it all becomes a moot point.

The two major launching ramps on Clear Lake are located within the cities of Lakeport and Clearlake. Lakeport has assigned a park ranger to monitor boats at Library Park and the Fifth Street ramps. There is no such monitoring program yet at Redbud Park in Clearlake, but that could occur in the future.

If a boat without a sticker or cable tie launches in Clear Lake and is cited, the fine can exceed $500. The Lake County Sheriff's boat patrol will issue a citation to any boat that hasn't complied with the ordinance.

Since the new program would generate a considerable amount of money from the boaters, the money should be put in a special fund. The fund could be used to administer the new program and any money left over could be used to improve the lake. The money shouldn't go into the county's general fund and it shouldn't be tapped for other county expenses.

All the experts on the Council agree that if the mussel gets into the lake it would devastate not only the water companies that draw water from the lake, but the tourist industry as well. The impact on the fisheries would be huge. The mussels multiply extremely fast and they will use up the nutrients in the lake that the fish require. A single mussel can pump a quart of water a day through its digestive system.

DFG Environmental scientist Jason Roberts said that to date the quagga mussel has been limited to the waters that drain from the Colorado River and there hasn't been any sign of the mussel in Northern California. However, that could all change in a hurry if an infected boat were to launch in Clear Lake. Once the mussels get into a lake it's impossible to eradicate them. In fact, there has never been a lake in the world where the mussel has been successfully eradicated. The only way to keep the mussels out of the lake is to prevent contaminated boats from launching.

Clear Lake is too valuable to allow it to be contaminated by an invasive species. It's much cheaper to prevent the mussels from getting into the lake rather than trying to cope with them once they are here.
Yay protect the killer fishery. I have been worried about this issue for a couple years now. Glad to see the research is being done to ensure healthy waterways and fisheries. Sorry guys I am in favor of the inspections on Clearlake, for I don't want the lake I grew up on to be contaminated like other destroyed fisheries I've seen. It is a sick sight to see!
I think this would be a good thing. Put money back into the best lake in CA maybe evne the best in the world. A great idea. Maybe the money can be used to fix up some of the public boat ramps, they don't charge a fee now so what is 10 a month? I wish I got there more often but lucky to go 3 times a year and 30 to me is worth it, even the 120 I would pay it. A normal launch fee and inspection every other place is going to cost more. I live in frsno now and have payed close to 200 so far for an annual pass for Millerton state park so I can use at LBC and a annual pass for eastman. Eastman was 35 can use at hensley also. State was like 140 i think, can use all over on state waters. Niehter place has inspection.So in the ling run this is still cheap and a good thing.
I dont have a boat so i guess my feelings on this topic doesnt count, [8|]
but you have a tube/toon... thus it does count
True enough however i have yet to get to clearlake in my tube , i will agree however it is a primere fishery and it would be good to keep it as such , :D