WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Boat inspections and permits are required for all boats launching at Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. This includes non-registered non-motorized watercraft including hand-carried boats like canoes, kayaks and rowboats.
Officials with Whatcom County Public Works say 2022 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Program permits should be purchased online before heading to the boat launch.
Permits are issued after the vessel passes inspection. Inspection stations at Bloedel Donovan Park and Lake Samish open on Saturday, April 23rd. Other Lake Whatcom inspection stations are expected to also open soon.
Boat owners can choose a 1- or 3-day pass or an annual permit.
Annual permit stickers are valid until December 31st and need to be visible on the boat so that numbers can be recorded and tracked by the inspector on duty.
In 2021, a total of 14,415 watercraft inspections were conducted at Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. Of these, 10 boats had recently been in mussel-infested waters and were decontaminated, 136 boats were found with vegetation and 1,146 boats had onboard standing water that required attention.
The Lake Whatcom Management Program charges fees for inspection and decontamination services to partially fund the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program.