Sustainable Development

Aquatic Invasive Species

Watercraft Inspection Program

The Manitoba government has an annual watercraft inspection program which began in 2000. On July 7th the province launched its 2016 annual watercraft inspection program and awareness campaign in the fight against zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species (AIS).

The Watercraft Inspection program has greatly expanded since it began in 2000. It has an increased number of watercraft inspectors on the landscape and has acquired five decontamination units used around the province to target high-risk and high-traffic boating areas. The decontamination units operate using hot water and high pressure to kill and remove AIS from watercraft, trailer and water-related equipment.

The objectives of the Watercraft Inspection program are to:

  • prevent the introduction of AIS into Manitoba; and
  • prevent and slow the spread of AIS from invaded water bodies within Manitoba to non-invaded water bodies.

Watercraft inspectors conducting a decontamination on a watercraft at Selkirk Park, Selkirk Manitoba.

These objectives are achieved by:

  • educating the public about the threat of AIS;
  • demonstrating how to properly CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY watercraft and water-related equipment, and reminding people to DISPOSE unused bait in the trash; and
  • dentifying and preventing the risk of AIS transfer through inspecting watercraft, trailer and water-related equipment, and
  • conducting decontaminations of watercraft, trailer and water-related equipment to ensure compliance with the law.

The Watercraft Inspection program largely targets day-use boaters leaving zebra mussel invaded water bodies as they pose the highest risk for transferring larval zebra mussels, called veligers, to new un-invaded water bodies.

Watercraft which are moored in zebra mussel invaded water bodies for 12 hours or longer, are at high risk for transporting zebra mussel veligers and aduls.

Stopping at a watercraft inspection station is a legal requirement under the AIS legislation under The Water Protection Act. All trailered watercraft must stop for an inspection when the stations are open. Protecting Manitoba’s water bodies is a collective responsibility. Prepared to have your watercraft inspected and plan your travels accordingly.

For up-to-date information on the location and times when the Watercraft Inspection program will be available, click here, or follow the Province of Manitoba’s Twitter page.

Members of the public are encouraged to report aquatic invasive species (AIS) sightings, including Zebra Mussels from areas where they are not known to exist. Please take pictures and submit information to:  or call: toll free 1-877-STOP AIS-0 (1-877-867-2470).


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