Arizona's State Boating Laws

Aquatic Invasive Species:

  • Are not native to Arizona.
  • Include both plants (such as salvinia, hydrilla), animals (such as zebra mussels, crayfish and New Zealand mudsnails) and diseases and pathogens.
  • Cause physical and economic damages to our recreational, commercial, environmental, cultural or historic resources and/or create public health problems.
  • Can impair water resources. Water is life in the desert and aquatic nuisance species that impair water resources, wildlife health, water quality or water conveyance, threaten us all.

Arizona's Aquatic Invasive Species

AIS are a serious threat to Arizona’s recreational boating and angling, as well as the state’s water and electrical infrastructure. Arizona’s boaters must understand and comply with efforts to contain and prevent AIS from spreading to other waterways.

Arizona’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS):

  • Quagga & Zebra Mussel
  • Rusty Crayfish
  • Red Claw Crayfish
  • New Zealand mudsnail
  • Didymo, a.k.a. rock snot
  • Giant Salvinia
  • Asian Carp (Silver, Black, Bighead)
  • Apple Snail
  • Snakehead
  • Whirling Disease
  • Largemouth Bass Virus (LMB Virus)

List of AIS affected waters in Arizona:

  • Lake Powell – QM
  • Lake Mead – QM, NZM
  • Lake Mohave – QM, NZM
  • Lake Havasu – QM, Didymo
  • Lower Colorado River below Lake Havasu to Mexico – QM, GSalv, Apple
  • Lake Pleasant – QM, LMBV
  • Lee’s Ferry – NZM, WD
  • Lower Salt/ Verde River – Apple
  • Bartlett, Saguaro, Roosevelt Lakes – LMBV

Prevention is Key

Preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species is the most environmentally sound and cost-effective method for battling aquatic hitchhikers. Prevent Aquatic Nuisance Species by doing the following:

  • Clean all recreational equipment before and after using all waters.
  • Do not release or put plants, fish or other animals into a body of water unless they came out of that body of water (also do not release them into storm drains, because most storm drains lead to bodies of water or wetlands).
  • Do not release unused bait into waters (make sure to check regulations before using bait).
  • Do not release anything from an aquarium into any body of water or storm drain.

Day Use Decontamination Steps:

Step 1) Before leaving the waterway clean/remove any clinging material such as plants, animals and mud from anchor, boat, motor, and trailer.

Step 2) Remove the plug (if applicable) and drain the water from the bilge, live-well and any other compartments that could hold water. If applicable, also allow for water to drain from engine, engine cooling system(s), and lower unit.

Step 3) Ensure that watercraft, vehicle, equipment, or conveyance are allowed to dry completely before transportation.

Long Term-Moored Boat Decontamination Steps:

Step 1) Clean/remove any clinging material such as plants, animals and mud from anchor, boat, motor, external equipment, and trailer.

Step 2) Remove the plug (if applicable) and drain the water from the bilge, live-well and any other compartments that could hold water. If applicable, also allow for water to drain from engine, engine cooling system(s), and lower unit.

Step 3) Physically remove all visible attached mussels from boat surfaces, such as motors, impellers, outdrives, rudders, anchor(s), and through hull fittings.

Report sightings of aquatic nuisance species to your local Arizona Game and Fish Department office or call toll-free to: (877) STOP-ANS or (877) 786-7267.

Arizona’s Waste Disposal Laws

It is illegal to dump, deposit, place, throw or leave refuse, rubbish, debris, filthy or odoriferous objects, substances or other trash on any waterways or the shorelines of any waterways of the state.

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