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#1
Free pass for nonresident boaters

Five NEW LAWS that impact wildlife and outdoor recreation
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[Image: wildlife-news-head_original.png]April 4, 2020 [Image: 04-01-20-quagga-mussels-decontamination_crop.jpg][dir=ltr]Here are five bills that were signed into law this legislative session that impact wildlife and outdoor recreation in Utah that you should know about.[/dir][dir=ltr]HB255: Boat Fees Amendments[/dir][dir=ltr]This law will help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, like quagga mussels, which have infested Lake Powell. The law includes several new changes that boaters should be aware of, including a $20 fee for non-resident boaters who launch a watercraft on any waterbody in Utah. The law also requires all boat owners to complete an online Utah Division of Wildlife Resources education course about preventing the spread of quagga mussels, and to show proof of the course completion before they launch at a Utah waterbody.[/dir]Read more
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Harrisville UT
2000 7.3L F250 Superduty  '07 Columbia 2018 Fisherman XL Raymarine Element 9HV 4 Electric Walker Downriggers Uniden Solara VHF
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#2
Just so you know - HB255 ONLY applies fees to REGISTERED watercraft.  ANY water vessel that is NOT required to be registered (mostly non-motorized) such as belly boats, paddle boards, kayaks, individual pontoons, etc., are being given a free pass with regard to paying any fees - both resident and non-resident.   Angry

With regard to the required 'education course', the only references to this in the bill were these 2:
  •  requires owners of certain vessels to complete an education course
  •  Before launching a vessel on the waters of this state, a nonresident shall pay the aquatic invasive species fee as described in Subsection (1), and the vessel owner shall successfully complete an aquatic invasive species education course offered by the division.
A vessel is defined as: "Vessel" means every type of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.  So is it going to be 'certain vessels' or will it be 'all vessels'?  I have over 30 years experience in writing Federal technical documents and I would say that whoever wrote this bill is an idiot.  And I said as much to the bill's author, Rep Steve Waldrip.

So what we ended up with is this:

  1. All REGISTERED boat owners must now pay the fee [$10 added to your registration fee for residents (been that way since 2015), and $20 collected by a yet un-named process for non-residents] and unregistered 'vessels' pay nothing.
  2. And I'm guessing here because of the poorly written bill, that any 'vessel' owner must complete, and show proof of completion of, an aquatic invasive species education course offered by the division, before launching ANY 'vessel' in Utah water.


Here is a link to the course I THINK the Division will use to satisfy this requirement: 2020 MUSSEL-AWARE BOATER PROGRAM

You might just want to go ahead and take it now and get it over with as it will be mandatory to have it done in about 3 months.
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I'm 78 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
"Free men do not ask permission to bear arms."
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