Invasive species inspection stations set up along highways

ImageIf you're traveling across the Northwest with your boat this summer, expect to have to stop at an invasive species boat inspection station.

We were headed over to the Grande Ronde River in Oregon last week and had to pull over at a rest stop between Baker City and North Power, Ore., for a boat inspection.

It didn't take long and the technician with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was helpful and explained what was going on. She even gave us tips on where the best trout fishing was nearby.

All vehicles with boats had to stop, not only those with motorized boats. She was checking canoes and rafts.

I've also seen an active Idaho invasive species inspection station on U.S. 95 just outside of Marsing.

We were also checked on the Grande Ronde River for our Oregon invasive species permits, which we had gotten in advance at a service station in Elgin before the trip.

So, as you travel across the West this summer for boating, make sure you've got all the right permits. You can check by Googling state fish and wildlife agencies or boating agencies in each state. When we were at the launch at the Grande Ronde River at Minam, a group of rafters from Tacoma didn't even know they needed the Oregon permit.

Photo by Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman