"Beth, what are the proposed changes to the AIS regulations and why are they important?"
Hi, I'm Beth Bear, aquatic invasive species coordinator with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The significant change is language that will require all ballast and bilge plugs to be removed from watercraft while you're transporting the watercraft by land into the state. Other changes would require boaters removing the watercraft from the water to drain all water from your boat and all compartments, and then to remove vegetation from your boat when you're leaving the water. This is important because baby mussels, called veligers, are microscopic and they can't be seen without a microscope. They can live in water on boats, so the draining and removal of plugs will help reduce the spread of these veligers. With new populations of invasive mussels in Montana, and the continued spread of invasive plants, these regulations are really important and necessary to help protect Wyoming waters. It's also really difficult to identify aquatic plants and know which ones are invasive and could cause problems if they spread to other waters. So the removal of all plants will ensure that no vegetation is spread, whether it's invasive or not.