So far, Wyoming has done a fairly good job of keeping the majority of aquatic invasive species from the state’s waters. 

Curly pondweed is one of the rare exceptions that has been found in Wyoming.

Unfortunately, the threat of invasive species seems to be increasing rapidly.

The Wyoming legislature took a bold approach in 2010 by passing a law requiring any watercraft transported into the state from March 1 through Nov. 30 undergo a mandatory inspection.

To date, this procedure has kept zebra and quagga mussels from entering the state’s waters, but the threat is increasing.

In 2019, only 19 boats were intercepted with mussels. 

Last year, inspectors discovered mussels on 54 boats entering the state. In two cases, the mussels found were alive. 

Game and Fish personnel decontaminated 924 boats in 2021.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has spearheaded the effort to prevent the mussel invasion with assistance from the Wyoming Department of Transportation and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.

Last, but certainly not least, private citizens across the state have become aware and involved.

While many Wyomingites don’t appreciate mandatory inspections of their watercraft, they are increasingly aware of the potential threat of aquatic invasive species.

Wyoming fishermen and recreational users don’t want their pristine waters ruined. For the most part, they not only manage their own actions, but seek cooperation with others to avoid an aquatic invasion.

We don’t know how much longer Wyoming will be able to keep the mussel invasion from our state’s waters.

We hope through the combined efforts of the state government and private citizenry, it will be a long time.


(1) comment

Keith Dahlem

The largest invasive species and most destructive has been the Mackenzie Valley Grey Wolf introduced by the National Park Service with help from the Wyoming Game and Fish to Wyoming. Oh I forgot about the Feral Horses so called "Wild Horses" none of these were native to North America.

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