The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is happy to announce the winners of the 2020 Wyoming Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Boater Appreciation Raffle. Boaters who had their watercraft inspected by Game and Fish and completed an online survey were entered into a raffle for a variety of prizes. Inspections are important to help protect Wyoming’s waters from aquatic invasive species.
“Thank you to our sponsors for their support of this raffle and to boaters who stopped for watercraft inspections and completed surveys this year,” said Josh Leonard, Game and Fish AIS coordinator. “We are happy to report no evidence of zebra or quagga mussel larvae or adults has been detected in any Wyoming water, and those who clean, drain, dry help keep it that way.”
Randy Okubo of Evanston was the grand prize winner, taking home a Nash Sub Z 23 Qt. cooler, Radar Weird Science tube and Connelly Blaze Wakeboard package donated by Marine Products Pro Shop.
Additional winners of the raffle and their prizes were:
Robin Rhodes of Bear River – Guided Trout Fishing Trip for two, donated by The Reef Fly Shop.
Bryan Dold of Boulder, Colorado – Calcutta 20L cooler and $75 gift certificate, donated by the West Laramie Fly Store.
Mark Morehouse of Fort Collins, Colorado – Guided kokanee salmon trip for two, donated by Buckboard Marina.
Melissa Sperry of Riverton – Lowrance HOOK2 Sx Fishfinder donated by Citimarine.
“These businesses provided generous support for our AIS program created by the Legislature to benefit all water users in the state, including irrigators and municipalities,” said Leonard.
This was Wyoming’s eleventh boating season following passage of AIS legislation in 2010. This year, inspection numbers broke records. Total inspections for invasive plants and animals, including zebra and quagga mussels this season amounted to 75,500, about a 50% increase from last year. This included 4,508 inspections on watercraft considered to be high risk for transporting AIS, and of those 701 required decontamination to eliminate the potential for AIS transport.
Since watercraft inspections began in 2010, about 502,000 inspections have been conducted.