Invasive Mussel Prevention

The Lake County Quagga/Zebra (QZ) Sticker is required, in addition to a State DMV sticker, for all vessels launched in Lake County water bodies. Remember to check in with a participating screener when you return from any out-of-county trips with your boat - it's the law! Program screeners have current information on counties and water bodies in the western United States infested with invasive mussels. Re-screening and inspections, when needed, are free. Resident and Visitor stickers are $20.

Clean, drained, dry boats are safe boats display your sticker, protect your lake. Visit the Screening Locations page to find a list and a map of all qualified screening locations that can sell QZ stickers.

Lake County Law

  • Requires screening of all trailered water vessels
  • All watercraft launched in Lake County must display a current Lake County mussel sticker as proof of screening. This is in addition to the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sticker that is proof of the State's mussel fee payment. See the Sticker Press Release (DOC) for further clarification
  • Does not apply to:
    • Canoes
    • Kayaks
    • Car-top boats
    • Float tubes
    • Rafts
    • Wind surfers/boards
    • Boogey boards
    • Nonmotorized paddle boats
    • Nonmotorized sail boats that are 8 feet or less in length
  • Bans the disposal of live bait and any liquid that contains or has contained live bait into Lake County water bodies
  • Establishes violation as a fine of up to $1,000 with boat impoundment

Invasive Mussels Overview

Dreissenid mussels significantly alter lake ecology by displacing native species, destroying native habitats and the species that depend on natural habitats, blocking water delivery, disrupting recreational and commercial fishing, undermining docks and all other structures in the water, impeding navigation and enjoyment of the country's waterways. These mussels have caused devastating impacts on municipal water systems, recreation and fisheries in other areas of the country.

Invasive mussels can be unknowingly transported from one lake to another by boaters. Lake County Water Vessel Inspection Ordinance 2936 protects all Lake County water bodies from infestation by Dreissenid mussels, otherwise known as quagga and zebra mussels.

For additional information, call the County Department of Water Resources.

Boating & Waterways

Portions of this program are possible by funding and support provided by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways.

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Inspect Everything

Before Launching and Before Leaving, Inspect Everything Diagram