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Violation of this law is a misdemeanor, and carries a minimum $1,000 fine. Penalty could include boat confiscation and even a possible jail term.
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Screening is required for all registered water vessels, meaning any trailered watercraft, or jet ski, or float plane capable of being launched into a water body within the County of Lake.
Screening is not required for:
If you have launched your boat in a body of water outside Lake County, re-screening is required. If you have any questions, please visit a screening location, and a screener will be happy to review your boating history to determine whether your vessel poses a threat. You will not pay a fee for a re-screening, but will pay a fee for an inspection if required.
Call the Lake County Sheriff's Dispatch at 707-263-2690. If possible, please note the boat's vessel registration number (CF#) and/or vessel description.
View our Screening and Inspection page to find fee information.
Resident Mussel Stickers are valid for the calendar year issued.
Visitor Mussel Stickers are valid for the calendar month issued.
Probably not, but this will be determined through the screening process.
Resident Water Vessel means:
As part of the screening process, you will need to show your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) registration. See our Resident Vessels page for more information.
Note: A Water Vessel is any trailered watercraft, or jet ski, or float plane capable of being launched into a water body within the County of Lake. The term vessel does not apply to:
Visit the Screening and Inspection page for more information on the screening process and fees.
Not at this time. However, many local businesses offer expanded hours for those who want to launch early in the morning or late in the evening. In addition, staff members at many local lodging establishments are able to offer screening assistance to their guests upon check-in, so be sure to inquire when making a reservation.
Visit the Screening Locations page for list of screening locations.
It varies depending on how the boat has been operated in the past 30 days, and how diligent the owner/operator was in cleaning, draining, and drying when exiting the previous water body. Owners/operators can streamline the process by saving receipts or certificates documenting any recent cleanings/and or inspections.
This depends on various risk factors, but all parts of the boat must be cleaned, drained, and dry. This includes live wells, bait wells, bilges, and areas likely to contain water. If the boat is determined to be a higher-risk vessel, a thorough boat and trailer inspection by an authorized inspector may be necessary.
The bilges, live wells, bait wells, and any other areas that collect water must be cleaned, drained, and dry. The screener will ask the vessel owner/operator to verify this.
The screener will make a determination on the extent of decontamination needed for the boat to pass inspection. Details will be provided as to where and when to take the vessel for the physical inspection and any additional fees. Currently there is one decontamination unit in Lake County owned and operated by the Department of Water Resources.
The decontamination process includes power washing with very hot water, flushing of the motor cooling system, draining, and drying of any standing water including bilges, ballasts, and bait wells, etc. Hard to treat equipment that cannot be exposed to hot water can be treated with 100% vinegar for 20 minutes or 1% table salt for 24 hours.
The zebra mussel and its close cousin, the quagga mussel, have become the most serious non-native biofouling pests to be introduced into North American fresh waters. An infestation adversely affects the ecosystem and anyone who uses the lakes by causing mussel colonies to form on all surfaces including:
The most serious measurable economic impacts are suffered by water districts and other users of lake water who may have increased maintenance costs due to plugged water pipes, intake screens, and possible damage to pumps and other equipment. It even impacts citizens who don't use the lakes through increased costs for drinking water and food prices passed along to consumers by the water and agriculture industries brought on by their increased costs in maintenance and equipment repair. It impacts the local fisheries, and in some lakes, has caused a collapse in the populations of sport fish.
These mussels have the ability to tolerate a wide range of conditions and are extremely adaptable. Once they have infected a water body, they cannot be eradicated. They have no predators native to the U.S. They cannot be prevented from spreading into downstream waters.
These invasive mussels were introduced into the United States in 1988 in Lake St. Clair near Detroit, Michigan. The mussels are believed to have been released into the Great Lakes Region from the emptying of ballast water from a Eurasian vessel. So although they have been in the United States for 20 years, the zebra and quagga mussels are new to California. The quagga mussel was first discovered in Lake Mead in January 2007, and quickly spread downstream into Lake Havasu, Lake Mohave, and then into Southern California via the aqueduct system. The zebra mussel was first discovered in San Justo Reservoir, San Benito County in January 2008. Since so many boaters come to Lake County from southern California, the Lake County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance to protect the water bodies of Lake County from this significant and imminent threat posed by invasive quagga and zebra mussel infestation that can be spread inadvertently through recreational boating.
Yes, as of January 1, 2020, Quagga mussels have been found in 42 locations in California and Zebra mussels in 1 lake. Some of them have been closed to boating traffic.