Inspections Required Before Boating

Boaters are being reminded that if their boat has been used on any out-of-state waterways, it needs be inspected at one of CPW’s watercraft inspection and decontamination stations before it is operated in Colorado.  CPW has discovered four out-of-state boats recently that were infested with zebra or quagga mussels. These mussels are two of the more invasive species in the nation and pose a great ecological and financial threat to the state. They can be transported great distances over land by attaching to recreational watercraft and equipment. Boat cleaning tips are available below, for more information about invasive species or boat inspections click here.

Colorado regulations require boaters to clean, drain and dry before entering and when leaving waters:

  • Clean: Remove all plants, animals, and mud from boats, trailers, vehicle hitches, and motors. Aquatic plant fragments and animals can hide in mud and survive many days out of water.  It is prohibited to transport watercraft over land with aquatic vegetation on it.  Be sure to clean all fishing equipment including waders and boots.
  • Drain: Completely drain every space or item that could hold water, including live wells, bait containers, ballast, bilge and engines.  Boat operators are required to remove all water drain plugs prior to leaving the boat ramp or parking lot, and that drain plugs are left out during transport and any time the watercraft is not on the water.
  • Dry: Allow sufficient time for boats and equipment to dry completely before launching in other waters.
  • Dispose: Properly dispose unused live bait into trash containers, not into the water. Properly dispose of aquarium or classroom animals or plants, do not place them in any body of water or natural setting.
  • Report: If you find anything that you think is an invasive species on your boat or in a water body, report it to the CPW by calling (303) 291-7295 or emailing

Comments are closed.