OUTDOORS: Watercraft cleaning stations set up at Lake Crescent, Ozette boat launches

Clean all equipment to prevent further spread/introduction of invasive species

  • Peninsula Daily News 
  • Friday, May 24, 2024 7:39am
  • Sports

PORT ANGELES — Free boat cleaning stations at Lake Crescent and Lake Ozette are being launched in a bid to stop the increased spread of aquatic invasive species in Olympic National Park.

The new program will combine free boat cleaning stations, public outreach, partnerships and environmental DNA sampling to reduce the harm of existing invasive species and prevent the introduction of new invasive species.

Two aquatic invasive species were detected in Lake Crescent in 2019 and 2022: New Zealand mudsnails and Asian clams. Asian clams were identified in Lake Ozette in 2018. Both Asian clams and New Zealand mudsnails are known for reproducing rapidly and spreading quickly, with Asian clams sometimes exceeding 20,000 individuals per square meter.

Boat cleaning stations were opened at the Fairholme, Storm King and Log Cabin Resort boat launches at Lake Crescent earlier this week and will be deployed next week at Lake Ozette.

All watercraft, including boats, kayaks, rafts, stand-up paddleboards and other flotation devices should be cleaned.

Olympic National Park said Asian clams and New Zealand mudsnails were likely introduced into Lake Crescent by “hitchhiking” on recreational boats.

Recreational boaters often unknowingly transport these species when they visit multiple freshwater areas without cleaning, draining, and drying their boats. Cleaning boats will also prevent the introduction species such as zebra mussels, quagga mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil (present in Lake Sutherland).

Boaters are instructed to clean by removing all plants, mud, animals and organic matter from your watercraft, trailer, waders, boots and nets before entering the water; drain by pulling the bilge plug and removing standing water, discarding water on dry ground where it can’t enter lakes or streams and completely dry everything that comes in contact with water before entering another water body.

Free fishing June 8-9

Anglers can fish for many species without a license during the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual Free Fishing Weekend June 8-9.

Any fish requiring a catch record card (including sturgeon, salmon, steelhead and halibut) and all shellfish will still require a license on Free Fishing Weekend.

All other species open for harvest can be harvested without a license.

During Free Fishing Weekend, anglers do not need a Vehicle Access Pass or a Discover Pass when parking on Fish and Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources or state Park lands.

For emergency regulations and up-to-date fishing rules, visit https://tinyurl.com/PDN-EmergencyRegs2324.

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