NEWS

Keyhole, Glendo watercraft will be inspected before launching

Expect delays; limited boat ramps, hours at both locations

9/30/2022 6:26:29 PM

Cheyenne - Two popular Wyoming boating locations are changing their protocols for watercraft inspections to protect waters from zebra mussels, an aquatic invasive species.  These changes, instituted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, will begin Oct. 5. 

At both Keyhole and Glendo state parks, all watercraft will be inspected at the boat ramp before launching. Inspection hours will be 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Use of the boat ramp is restricted to 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Launching without an inspection is prohibited. 

At Keyhole, boaters will be limited to launching at Pine Haven — Coulter Bay ramp. Glendo boaters will launch only at Whiskey Gulch. All other boat ramps will be closed, and shore launching will be prohibited. Boaters should expect delays.

“Boaters and anglers, thank you for your cooperation. We recognize any sudden changes can be frustrating, but we’re grateful for your efforts and working with Game and Fish and State Parks to protect Wyoming’s most valuable resources,” said Brian Nesvik, director of Game and Fish. “These actions are significant — but they are due to a very real threat of zebra mussels and are necessary to protect these two well-known reservoirs as well as other waters of the state.”

Game and Fish and State Parks and Cultural Resources are working together to stop the spread of AIS. 

"We appreciate the collaborative effort between the two agencies and our users to ensure we are doing all that we can to protect the resource and infrastructure," said Darin Westby, director of State Parks and Cultural Resources."We also acknowledge that our users will be inconvenienced as we implement the steps necessary to keep our waters clean of these invasive species and with their grace and understanding, we will be successful."

Zebra mussels were confirmed this summer at Pactola Reservoir in South Dakota, 27 miles from the Wyoming border. This is the closest mussels have been found to Wyoming. Keyhole and Glendo are frequent destinations for boaters who visit Pactola, where it is reported that live, adult mussels are attached to the majority of boats coming off the water. 

“Live mussels on watercraft can easily spread. When boaters move between a zebra mussel-positive water to a negative water — there is cause for concern and precautions,” said Alan Osterland, Game and Fish chief of fisheries. 

At this time limitations will be effective through Nov. 30 at Keyhole. Restrictions at Glendo will be in place until further notice. Over the winter Game and Fish will evaluate boating protocols for the 2023 season.

“Keeping zebra mussels out of Wyoming is going to remain a priority, and we are going to do everything we can to that end. We will be working to develop a plan for boaters at these reservoirs and others,” Osterland said.

Zebra mussels are one of the most destructive aquatic invasive species — to ecosystems and infrastructure. They remove nutrients from the water, clog pipes and waterways, damage boats and outcompete native mussels. In almost all cases, zebra mussels are impossible to remove. If found in the state they could have costly impacts for Wyoming. 

Game and Fish is continuing to monitor Keyhole, Glendo and other high-recreation waters for zebra and quagga mussels. To date, mussels have not been found in Wyoming. Game and Fish has rapid response plans in place if they are discovered.

For questions on checkstations and stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species, visit the Game and Fish website or call 1-877-WGFD-AIS. 

 

(Sara DiRienzo, Public Information Officer - (sara.dirienzo@wyo.gov))

- WGFD -

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