NDOW Reminds Paddlers on Truckee River of AIS Decal Requirement

by Aaron Meier

Officials will be on hand at Reno River Festival to Answer Questions

With the annual Reno River Festival taking place this weekend, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) wants to remind paddle craft users that they are required to purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) decal to use canoes and kayaks on the Truckee River.

This AIS decal program was created to combat the growing menace of AIS in Nevada's waterways. NDOW personnel will be on hand at the River Festival, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, to answer questions and to direct boaters on the best way to purchase and affix the decal. The River Festival is an annual gathering of whitewater paddling enthusiasts.

"We don't want to make boating any more complicated or difficult. We just want to stop the spread of these very damaging invasive species," said Rob Buonamici, chief game warden at NDOW. "With just a little bit of care and diligence on the part of all boaters, we can preserve our pristine waters and angling opportunities for future generations." The decal requirement includes almost all paddle craft, including canoes, kayaks and rafts used on the Truckee River. Paddle craft such as stand up paddle boards and float tubes (most often used by anglers) are exempt from the requirement because they have no way to "retain water" according to the new regulation. Paddlers can contact NDOW if they have questions about any particular craft. The cost of the decals falls into four distinct categories.

• Resident motorboats - $10
• Resident non-motorboats (paddle craft, sailboats) - $5
• Nonresident motorboats - $20
• Nonresident non-motorboats - $10

AIS is the blanket term for a number of non-native aquatic plants and animals that invade waterways and overwhelm native plants and wildlife and includes the problematic quagga mussel, first discovered in Nevada at Lake Mead in 2007. The best way to avoid spreading any dangerous invasive species is to clean, drain and dry all boats and equipment before moving to other waterways.

Boaters can purchase decals at any NDOW office across the state, including Reno. They can also be purchased online at www.ndow.org or by calling (866) 703-4606. Boaters can learn more about Nevada's specific safe boating programs or take a boating education course online at the NDOW website www.ndow.org.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW's wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen's license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license.