Aquatic invasive species sneaking into Wyoming waters

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Wyoming aquatic invasive species inspection stations are intercepting an increased number of boats harboring invasive aquatic animals and plants. Nearly four months into the 2022 boating season, Wyoming Game and Fish Department has stopped 10 boats with mussels attached, one with a live brook stickleback mixed with live-caught bait and one with curly pondweed.

The increased numbers indicate that AIS continues to threaten Wyoming waters, and boaters play a big role in keeping them out.

Game and Fish AIS coordinator Josh Leonard says, “The numbers we’re seeing are concerning — especially this early in the season.”

Wyoming is one of the only states that has avoided an infestation of invasive mussels. It’s state law that all boaters must stop when coming upon an AIS inspection station — even if they stopped at one prior. This season Game and Fish has inspected over 17,000 watercraft, on pace with the previous two years.

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