AIS: Threatening the Public’s Angling and Boating Recreation

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are threatening the public’s angling and boating recreation and our state’s water and electrical infrastructure. It is critical for anyone who owns or uses watercraft, or has a business reliant on watercraft, to understand the essential nature of this aquatic invasive species containment effort by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The spread of quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species has far-reaching impacts, both financial and ecological, that can touch virtually every resident of the state. Whether you fish, or boat, or simply get water and electricity to your home, these aquatic invaders WILL affect your lifestyle…and possibly your wallet.

About Aquatic Invasive Species

What you need to know to prevent the spread.

the program

Request a free watercraft inspection and decontamination

If your watercraft has been in an infested water for six or more consecutive days or will not meet required dry time before going to another waterbody, you must have your boat inspected and decontaminated by AZGFD or an authorized agent prior to transport. For more information, see Director’s Orders below.

lake powell local boat program 2023

The Lake Powell Local Boat Program is a program that helps Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), National Park Service (NPS), Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) and staff working on the boat ramps at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GCNRA) to identify locally stored  boats. This program is intended to allow area residents and others with their boats stored within 25 highway miles of Wahweap launch ramp to experience an expedited exit inspection.

How to Apply

  • Register online and upload the required documentation and submit
  • For complete Program information, visit the registration site. Some conditions have changed for 2023
  • If you experience any issues registering, contact azlocalboater@azgfd.gov

Quagga mussels

Quagga mussels were first found in Arizona in Lake Mead in January of 2007. They originally came from Eurasia and became established in the Great Lakes in the 1980s. Since being discovered, these prolific invaders have spread rapidly.

new zealand mudsnails

The New Zealand mudsnail is an invasive snail that is ovoviviparous (live bearing) and parthenogenetic (reproduces asexually). Therefore, it only takes one snail to start a new population.

golden alga information

Golden alga releases unique toxins that affect gill-breathing aquatic organisms (mainly fish and clams). The alga is a rapid growing and resilient algae species, out-competing other algae for nutrients and thriving in a wide variety of environmental conditions.

Current Arizona Game and Fish Department Director’s Orders

R12-4-902 Some Arizona waterways infested with quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species.

Before leaving a listed water

Clean & dry – Remove all mud, plants and mussels from your boat or equipment. This includes hull, anchor and chain/ lines, stern attachments, engine and trailer. Allow your boat and equipment to dry the best extent possible before transporting. For more specific protocols see Director’s Order #3.

Remove plug and drain – Completely drain all water from bilge, live wells, ballast tanks and other compartments prior to transport. If applicable drain water from lower engine unit.

If watercraft was on listed waters for six or more consecutive days, you must complete the above steps, then additionally:

Decontaminate and desiccate – Watercraft owners/ transporters are responsible for having their boats and equipment decontaminated after removal from waterbody and prior to transport. Before launching to another waterbody or transporting to another state, you must also desiccate you boat and equipment for 18 consecutive days from November through April or 7 consecutive days from May through October. For more detailed cleaning protocols, see Director’s Order #3.

Pull the plug on mussels brochure

find an authorized decontamination provider

AIS Resources

Director’s Order 1: List of Aquatic Invasive Species of Arizona
Director’s Order 2: List of AIS affected waters
Director’s Order 3: Mandatory conditions for movement of watercraft, conveyances and equipment from affected waters

-Aquatic Invasive Species Law A.R.S. §17-255
-Aquatic Invasive Species Rule – Article 9


List of waters where aquatic invasive species are present
-Mandatory conditions for movement of watercraft

State AIS Plan
-Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan
-State AIS Vision
State Invasive Species Database
iMapInvasives Arizona

Other western state watercraft inspection and decontamination contacts: Watercraft inspection contacts list

Species profiles

Quagga mussel
Zebra mussel
Rusty crayfish
New Zealand mudsnail
Rock snot (Didymo)
Giant salivinia
Apple snail
Asian carp
Whirling disease
Snakehead

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