California DFG Checkpoints Are Successful
The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) inspected 132 vehicles Oct. 26 at two border station checkpoints to help prevent transport of chronic wasting disease (CWD). The checkpoints were conducted at the Truckee station on Interstate 80 in Nevada County and the Long Valley station on U.S. Route 395 in Lassen County. Game wardens issued a total of 20 citations.
The violations included 11 cases of importation of deer or elk parts that could contain CWD, three loaded firearms in vehicles, one illegal possession of fireworks, five over-limits of trout, one case of transportation of a game bird without a fully-feathered wing and one case of importation of deer without a tag. Numerous warnings were issued for various other violations.
“We received Declaration of Entry forms from hunters returning from Canada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Idaho, and discussed the importance of protecting California deer and elk herds from CWD,” said Capt. Sherry Howell whose squad operated the checkpoint at the Long Valley station.
DFG game wardens inspected deer and elk meat or parts that could contain CWD. DFG has been educating California hunters about CWD for the past five years and other states’ agencies have advised out-of-state hunters to adhere to home state regulations to help prevent importation of the disease.
“The detail was a very successful enforcement effort, with the majority of the hunters complying with the CWD regulations,” said Capt. Mark Lucero, whose squad operated the checkpoint at the Truckee border protection station on I-80. “This is a strong indicator that out-of-state hunters are aware of efforts to keep the infectious disease from spreading.“
CWD is not present in California, but transporting a deer spinal column or brain from a state where the disease exists, could introduce it.
CWD has been found in 15 states and two Canadian provinces. It is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer and elk, but has not been found in humans. Hunters are prohibited from bringing any portion of elk or deer into California that could contain CWD, as outlined in the state’s hunting and sport fishing regulations, available on the Web at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations. For more information about CWD, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/cwd.
At the checkpoints, K-9 detection dogs also were used to inspect incoming watercraft for invasive species like Quagga and Zebra mussels. State law makes it illegal to possess or transport Quagga or Zebra mussels and gives DFG authority to stop, detain, search and quarantine boats suspected or determined to be contaminated with mussels. No Quagga mussel violations were found at the checkpoints on Oct. 26.
Quagga and Zebra mussels pose a serious threat to California’s ecosystem and economy. Inspections help ensure the state’s water bodies remain mussel-free and serve to educate the public about the threat the invasive mussels pose.
Mussels attached to watercraft or trailers and in boat engines, bilges, live-wells and buckets can spread rapidly throughout our waterways. Boaters should inspect all exposed surfaces, wash boat hulls thoroughly, remove all plants from the boat and trailer, drain all water – including lower outboard units, clean and dry live-wells and bait buckets and dispose baitfish in the trash. Most important, watercraft should be dried for at least five days between launches in different bodies of fresh water and even longer in cool, moist weather.
For more information about the destructive Quagga and Zebra mussels, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/quaggamussel.