It sure would be a bummer if you came up all the way to Crowley Lake, only to wait in long lines for a boat inspection.
That might be the case, though, if anglers and boaters don’t follow regulations set down by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Boats showing any signs of contamination with invasive mussels, or found to contain any water or debris that could harbor them, will not be allowed to launch into Crowley Lake, the LADWP said in a recent news release.
In particular focus are the quagga and zebra mussels—small shellfish that were first introduced into the Great Lakes area in 1988 by cargo ships traveling from Eastern Europe.
These habitat destroyers quickly spread to 12 states within ten years and have since spread through the Metropolitan Water District’s (MWD) Colorado River Aqueduct to reservoirs in Southern California.
Currently 15 reservoirs in San Diego and Riverside Counties, as well as a small reservoir in San Benito County have been contaminated. Many of the infested reservoirs have been closed to public access and additional non-infested water bodies in southern California are instituting mandatory inspections and quarantine periods.
Boats that pass the inspection will be issued an Inspection Certification and allowed to launch.
It is the fourth year of the inspection program, and at Crowley Lake, the two most frequently asked questions are how long the inspection takes (five minutes) and if there is a fee (no).
Even so, all boats, kayaks, and canoes planning to launch at Crowley Lake must enter through the main gate at the South Landing and must be inspected.
No boat access will be available at any other area of Crowley Lake. Non-motorized vessels may be launched at other accessible areas outside of the South Landing launch ramp after they have been inspected.
Boats showing signs of contamination will not be allowed to launch into Crowley Lake. The LADWP and Crowley Lake Fish Camp (CLFC) have instituted a “seal locking system” for repeat users.
When a boat leaves Crowley Lake, an inspection seal can be requested and attached to the boat and trailer. If an inspection seal is in place on a return visit, the boat will not need to be re-inspected.
Float tubes do not need to be inspected, but any fishing equipment used must be clean and dry before use in Crowley Lake to prevent invasions of mud snails or any other invasive species.
If anglers are planning on launching a boat into Crowley Lake, the LADWP asks users to please keep the following in mind:
All boat owners are required to fill out a written questionnaire concerning the past use of the boat. 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 may be able to expedite the procedure in Bishop, well before they get to Crowley.
On Friday (today), inspections will be offered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Bishop VONS/KMART parking lot at the corner of Main Street (U.S. Hwy. 395), Wye Road and SR 6.
Inspections will resume at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Opening Day.