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Watercraft inspection Station

West Cassia Soil & Water Conservation District has taken on the responsibility to manage and run the Cotterell Invasive Species Watercraft Inspection Station on I-84 Northbound.  Workers at the inspection station ensure all watercraft are clean, drained, dry, and free of invasive mussels, snails, clams, and weeds.  The Cotterell Boat Inspection Station has been selected to test the need for 24 hour operation. This requires increased inspection station manpower and cooperation with the Idaho State Patrol and the Idaho Transportation Department. West Cassia Supervisors feel that protecting Idaho’s water is a priority.  They continue to find ways to conserve our natural resources.   


Watercraft inspection stations are Idaho’s first line of defense against the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species. 


Invasive Species Watercraft

Inspection Station 

The State of Idaho has 20 Stations, 5 Roving Crews, and 5 Regional Offices. Dates of operation vary from February thru October. Last year’s data showed that through our Cotterell station, we did 5,900 Inspections, and had 11 fouled boats; one of those being viable, meaning it had live mussels. We had 167 hot washes, where we washed boats with 140 degree water from infested waterbodies, standing water, or were just crusty and dirty. As always we preach “Clean, Drain, and Dry your boat after every use”.  We not only look for mussels but invasive aquatic plants, animals, and terrestrial weeds.   

Our Law Enforcement partners are the Idaho State Police and Cassia County Police. They are on a designated shift just for our station to return any bypasses and educate the public on our state’s laws about stopping to be inspected at all watercraft inspection stations. We had 410 bypasses returned by Law Enforcement for the Cotterel Boat Station in 2022.  Statewide there were 1,793 bypasses.  We ask that you please read signs and know before you go about Idaho state laws on watercraft.










Motorized and Non-Motorized watercraft such as kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, inflatable rafts, paddle boats, catamarans, drift boats, inflatable cataraft, inflatable kayaks, and row boats all need to stop and be inspected. If it touches the water it needs to stop and get an inspection certificate. Also there is a sticker that is required in order to launch your watercraft in Idaho the cost is: $30 for Nonresident Motorized vessels and $7 for non-motorized vessels in or out of state. Idaho Resident Motorized Vessels have the fee included in registration.

Zebra-Quagga mussel on quarter.jfif

Idaho has the most river miles in the USA and relies mostly on irrigation to pump water to crops.  It would cost billions of dollars a year if our waters were to be infected by zebra and quagga mussels.

To help keep our waters clean, remember to


Quagga and Zebra Mussels   

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is specifically targeting the invasive Quagga and Zebra mussels, and has set up roadside inspection stations to keep them, and other aquatic invasive species out.  These mussels present a significant threat to the waters of Idaho and the region due to their environmental and economic impact. It is estimated that if introduced to Idaho, these mussels would cost more that $94 million annually in direct and indirect impacts to infrastructure, facilities, agriculture, and recreation.

If an Invasive Species is found on the watercraft during inspection, it is hot-washed, and sent on its way.  There is no penalty for a mussel-fouled boat at an inspection station, however, there are serious consequences when you fail to stop at an open inspection station. 

By state law, no person shall proceed past or travel through an established inspection station during it's hours of operation while towing, carrying, or transporting any conveyance without presenting such conveyance for inspection.  The Idaho Invasive Species Act of 2008. 22-1908

Watercraft Checking Stations   

There are 20 roadside inspection stations around Idaho’s borders and other critical areas aimed at preventing the introduction and spread of invasive mussels and weeds into Idaho water systems.  These Inspection Stations are Idaho’s first defense against invasive species.


All Watercraft are required to stop for inspection.   Watercraft is not simply a ship or boat.  There are numerous other watercraft such as jet skis, canoes, tubes, and all rafting boats are required to stop for inspection.  These non-motorized watercraft have the highest rate for non-compliance

Idaho Water is Worth Protecting!  

Idaho has more than 3,500 miles of rivers famous for fishing and water sports.  Idaho is an amazing place where water can be used and enjoyed. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a serious threat to Idaho's valuable water resources.  AIS clog and disrupt water delivery, interfere with power generation and recreation, and damage fisheries.   It is every citizen’s responsibility to protect and safeguard our water by making prevention a priority.

Some information for this page and the photo above taken from Idaho.maps.arcgis.comwebsite and /

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