Invasive species threat forces boat inspections at Crowley Lake


Mussell could destroy Owens watershed

A notorious invasive species called the New Zealand mussel could destroy the Owens River watershed if it gets too numerous, and therefore agencies like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are using boat inspections again this year to stop the spread of the pesky critters.

Crowley Lake, one of the Eastern Sierra’s most popular fisheries, is also one of the most at risk. The large number of boaters who come from all over the country increase the risk of exposure; mussels can “hide out” for weeks at a time, unseen by boat owners, then wake out of dormancy once they are in water again.

To prevent the spread of the mussels, which can destroy important trout habitat by covering the bottom of creeks and lakes, all motorized vessels planning to launch at Crowley Lake must enter through the main gate at the South Landing and must be inspected, according to LADWP.

“No boat access will be available at any other area of Crowley Lake,” a news release from the department stated. “Boats showing signs of contamination with invasive mussels, or found to contain any water or debris that could harbor invasive mussels, will not be allowed to launch into Crowley Lake. Frequent users of Crowley Lake can arrange with Crowley Lake Fish Camp to store their boat on-site.”


Boat owners may have their boat inspected and receive an Inspection Certification prior to arriving at Crowley Lake’s South Landing at this location:


  • When:April 25 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and April 26 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Where:at the Bishop VONS/KMART parking lot at the corner of Main Street (U.S. 395), Wye Road and S.R. 6. 

Long-term inspection schedule: Beginning April 25 at Crowley Lake’s South Landing through the duration of fishing season: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • More info:

• Only pre-inspected boats will be allowed to enter the gate or launch at Crowley Lake after 7 p.m. on April 26.

• Inspections will resume at 7 a.m. on Fishing Opening day.

•Pre-inspected boats may use the prepaid line at the main gate at South Landing of Crowley Lake to expedite entry.  

• ALL boat owners are required to fill out a written questionnaire concerning the boat’s past use

• ALL boats will be thoroughly inspected

• ALL boats and trailers must be CLEAN and DRY or they will be denied access

• ALL DRAIN PLUGS must be pulled or opened prior to boat transport that day

• ALL vehicles towing boats will be required to have a visible Inspection Certification during boat launching at Crowley Lake

Boat owners should be aware there may be an extended wait to enter Crowley Lake Reservoir due to these protective measures, according to the LADWP.

For more information contact LADWP at 760- 873-0409 or or Crowley Lake Fish Camp at 760-935-4043.