Some boaters on Idaho waters could see a sticker shock, thanks to an increase in the price of a tag to fend off invasive species. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) Monday raised the price of boat stickers by $2 for out-of-state boaters and non-motorized boats, like canoes and kayaks. The $10 fee for Idaho boats will now be included in boat registrations. Lawmakers approved the changes to the boat stickers earlier this year, which are designed to fund efforts to keep quagga and zebra mussels out of Idaho.
IDPR will also sell boat stickers for non-residents and non-motorized boats at several marinas and stores across the state. Vendors will be able to keep $1.50 from the sales of boat stickers to cover the cost of selling stickers. “We’re hopeful that the allowance of a vendor fee will expand the list of vendors, willing to sell IISF stickers throughout Idaho, making the purchase more convenient for boat owners,” Renee Iverson, the registration program manager for IDPR, said in a prepared news release. “Businesses are more apt to sell stickers when they get to retain a small fee for doing so.” Iverson said the state hopes that stores selling boat, snowmobile, and off-highway vehicle registrations will start selling the invasive species boat stickers. Boat registrations currently include a fee that goes to vendors.
Inflatable boats that are less than 10 feet long don’t need to buy a $7 sticker and licensed outfitters with more than five boats without motors can get a discount.
A list on the Idaho State Department of Agriculture website (pdf) shows 20 stores in Idaho and Washington that sell the invasive species stickers, which are also available at state parks. Money generated by selling the stickers goes to fund ISDA’s boat check, enforcement, and educational programs that try to keep mussels out of Idaho. The ISDA is hoping to run the program on a budget of approximately $1 million. If revenues from the stickers don’t cover the price of the program, general fund tax dollars cover the added costs. Lawmakers approved $280,200 in the current budget for the invasive species program.
Utah and Nevada have discovered quagga mussels in their waters. According to ISDA, quagga mussels can damage pipes and other infrastructure and consume plankton in waters that deprive other animals’ food supply. The Wyoming Legislature recently approved a similar program to combat aquatic invasive species. One Wyoming lawmaker compared the invasive mussels to “Godzilla coming out of the sea of Japan ready to eat Tokyo,” according to the Cowboy State Free Press.