FAQs: The Aquatic Invasive Species and the Boat Inspection Program for Lake Whatcom And Lake Samish
We want your feedback - Please fill out a short survey regarding your experience with the Watercraft Inspection Program in 2013. At the end of the survey you can submit questions, comments and suggestions to help us improve the Watercraft Inspection Program for 2014.
Go to: http://tinyurl.com/boat-inspection-comments
Or, go to: www.lakewhatcom.whatcomcounty.org and click on "Online Survey and Comment Form".
What are aquatic invasive species (AIS)?
Aquatic invasive species are non-native plants and animals that live primarily in water, thrive in a new environment, and cause economic loss, environmental damage, and harm to human health. For more information: http://www.cob.org/services/environment/lake-whatcom/aquatic-invasives.aspx
Which boats are needing permits?
Boats requiring inspection and an AIS sticker include all boats requiring registration by the State of Washington, as well as any boats registered in another state or country. This exempts boats from within Washington that are under 16 feet with less than a 10 horsepower motor, canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and sailboats under 16 feet.
What are the permit fees?
Costs are $50 for an annual permit (expires December 31, 2013) and $20 for a day use permit.
How do I get my permit/sticker?
You can purchase your permit online here and print out the receipt to have with you for your inspection. You can also purchase a permit in person, and get your boat inspected, at the Bloedel Donovan Park Boat Launch, 7 days a week, from dawn to dusk. You can pay by credit card – no cash is accepted.
What will I get with the purchase of an annual permit?
With an annual permit you get unlimited inspections and sealing services. Sealing is when a wire seal is used to tether your boat to your trailer after haul-out and/or prior to your next launch at Bloedel Donovan. If the seal remains intact (meaning you haven’t launched your boat elsewhere) when you return to Bloedel Donovan, you can expedite the next pre-launch inspection process and inspectors will remove the seal for you.
How long does an inspection take and what will the inspectors be checking?
Inspections are generally taking about 10-15 minutes, depending on the complexities of your boat. When your boat is inspected, the inspector will ask you several questions about your boat and launching history. They will then visually and physically inspect your boat for any evidence of aquatic invasive species. This is done inside all of the compartments as well as on the outside of your watercraft. When your vessel passes inspection you will be given a set of two stickers to affix on both sides near the bow of your boat.
How can I make my inspection a more quick and simple process?
Make sure your boat is cleaned, drained, and dried before your inspection. Remove any gear or equipment from internal compartments ahead of time and make sure all compartments are cleaned, drained, and dry.
Where can I get my boat inspected?
You can get your boat inspected at Bloedel Donovan Park Boat Launch, 7 days a week, from dawn to dusk (currently 5am to 9pm). Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish residents can call to arrange for a boat inspection appointment at their residence, but permits need to be purchased prior to the appointment and a receipt printed as proof of payment. Please have the receipt with you when your boat is inspected.
What number can I call to arrange for a boat inspection?
You can call the inspection hotline at 360-778-7975. If you get a voicemail message, please leave your name and phone number and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
Where can I find a copy of the Whatcom County AIS ordinance?
The ordinance adopted on April 23, 2013 for the Whatcom County AIS Program can be found here.