In 2008, the purchase of a new sticker for owners of Maine-registered watercraft was automatically combined with the watercraft registration fee. The sticker, which now reads "Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers -- Preserve Maine Waters" and is physically attached to the Maine watercraft registration, has been required since 2002 for all motorized watercraft on inland waters. Owners of non-Maine registered boats will continue to be required to purchase and affix a separate nonresident sticker.
Aquatic Invasive Species Decals
Some U.S. states require that boaters purchase an aquatic invasive species decal (sometimes called a stamp, sticker, or permit) before operating watercraft in that state. Many of these regulations were instituted as a response to the spread of zebra and quagga mussels into the Western U.S. Fees from the purchase of these decals are typically used to fund local aquatic invasive species outreach and prevention activities (Otts and Bowling 2013).
The list below is not intended to be comprehensive, and all boaters should check with their relevant state agency before launching watercraft to ensure they comply with all regulations. To find U.S. state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies, see Members of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.
- Otts, S.S., and T. Bowling. 2013. Legislative and regulatory efforts to minimize expansion of invasive mussels through watercraft movements. Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 3(6):61-84.
The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Aquatic Invasive Species Decals
State and Local Government
Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
An affirmation card reminds boaters and nonresident anglers of Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws. Watercraft owners and nonresident anglers must read and sign the affirmation during their regular license renewal, then keep it in their possession with their license. The affirmation, enacted by the Minnesota Legislature, is another positive step in the state’s proactive efforts to keep 95% of Minnesota lakes off the infested waters list.
Wyoming Game & Fish Department.
All watercraft using Wyoming waters are required to display an Aquatic Invasive Species decal. Costs for the decal are $10 for motorized watercraft registered in Wyoming, $30 for motorized watercraft registered in other states, $5 for non-motorized watercraft owned by Wyoming residents, and $15 for non-motorized watercraft owned by non-residents. Non-motorized inflatable watercraft 10 feet or less in length are exempt. Fees collected for the AIS decal will be used to fund the AIS program in Wyoming along with a General Fund Appropriation. These fees will pay for outreach and education, watercraft inspections, and monitoring to prevent the spread of AIS into Wyoming.
Nevada Department of Wildlife.
The Nevada aquatic invasive species (AIS) decal requirement became effective Jan 1, 2013 through approval from the Nevada State Legislature in 2011. The AIS decal requirement was established to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic species threatening Nevada's waterways.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Operators of watercraft not registered in Washington State, seaplanes, and commercial transporters of specified vessel types must purchase aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention permits to help prevent the spread of AIS in Washington. AIS prevention permits are valid for one year and can be purchased online (under the "Other" Product Categories tab) or from any of the department's authorized license dealers. When purchasing online, you may select a preferred activation date. The permit will be valid for one year from that date.
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
In 2016, Nebraska implemented an Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp to fund programs aimed at combating aquatic invasive species. Boaters who register their motorized watercraft in Nebraska will notice a $5 fee added to their three-year boater registration fee. Boaters who register their motorized watercraft in any other state will be required to obtain a $15 Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp each year that they boat in Nebraska. This stamp is available for purchase online. A temporary stamp may be purchased at some state parks and recreation areas.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Anyone who will launch a boat in Idaho waters must buy an Idaho Invasive Species Fund sticker from Idaho Parks and Recreation, The fees generated from the sale of these stickers will fund vessel inspections, washing stations, and informational materials that will help Idaho prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species, such as quagga mussels.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
The Angler AIS Prevention Pass (AISPP) is required for all individuals who fish in Montana. This program was initiated by the 2017 Montana Legislature to help fund the fight against aquatic invasive species in Montana. Non-resident watercraft launching in Montana must purchase a Vessel AIS Prevention Pass (AISPP). Purchase the Vessel AISPP at FWP regional offices or through the Online Licenses Service.
California Department of Parks and Recreation. Division of Boating and Waterways.
California registered vessels using fresh water bodies within the state are required to display a “Mussel Fee Paid” sticker on the hull next to the current registration sticker. Paying the Mussel Fee does not entitle vessels to bypass inspections or fees for inspections conducted by individual reservoir owners or managers.
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Beginning January 1, 2020, the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Permit required for non-motorized boats 10 feet and longer will be replaced by a Waterway Access Permit. The AIS Permit will remain for out-of-state motorized boats and is included in Oregon boat registration fees.