Quagga and Zebra Mussels
Quagga and Zebra (Dreissenid) mussels pose a serious threat to California's waters and fisheries. The spread of these freshwater mussels threatens recreational boating and fishing, aquatic ecosystems and fisheries, water delivery systems, hydroelectric facilities, agriculture and the environment in general. As a means to stop the spread of these harmful invasive mussels, California is asking boaters to clean, drain and dry their boats!
Boaters should be prepared for inspections throughout the state designed to help ensure California's water bodies remain mussel-free. Properly cleaning and drying can help protect boats and help boaters avoid quarantines or being turned away from a water destination. In addition to being sure to clean, drain and dry watercraft, the Division of Boating and Waterways urges boaters to plan for possible launch restrictions and inspections by calling water bodies before leaving home. Programs and requirements vary and can change rapidly.
The information below is provided as a courtesy by the State of California. For further information on the Quagga and Zebra mussels incident, please visit the Department of Fish and Wildlife's Website. Please view the Watercraft Inspections/Vessel Restrictions section for information on California waterways with vessel restrictions to stop the spread of mussels.
Quagga-Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention Fee FAQs
To prevent receiving a DMV Mussel Fee be sure to know what the Mussel Fee Paid sticker requirements for California registered vessels (PDF) are. If you have any further questions on the matter, please read our Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention Fee FAQ's (PDF).
Legislation requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to collect an additional fee on behalf of the Department of Parks and Recreation Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) on all recreational vessels subject to registration in the State of California.This boater registration Mussel Fee will aid infestation prevention and education efforts through grant funding, administered by DBW, to eligible agencies for quagga and zebra mussel prevention programs at reservoirs that allow boating and fishing recreation and supplementary funding for California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) prevention activities.
Contact the DMV directly to determine how you can obtain the QZ Mussel Sticker. Click here to see how to contact the DMV by phone, mail, or in person. If your vessel is only used in marine waters, and you claimed an exemption from the fee, you will not receive a sticker.
- Check the appropriate box on the Vessel Renewal Notice.
- Verbally notify the department through the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system at 1-800-777-0133.
- Submit a completed Statement of Facts (REG 256) form.
For original vessel registration applications, the vessel owner may claim the exemption by checking the appropriate box on the Application for Registration Number Certificate of Ownership and Certificate of Number for Undocumented Vessel (BOAT 101) form or submitting a completed REG 256.
A list of some California waterbodies and their contact information can be found on website at: Watercraft Inspections in California and Vessel Restrictions
- Increased watercraft inspections at California Department of Food and Agriculture Border Protection Stations.
- Development and implementation of monitoring plans for high risk water bodies in the state.
- Training of state, federal and local agency staff and K-9 units to conduct watercraft inspections and monitoring.
- Public outreach and education to watercraft owners through print and online media, outdoor signage and distribution of information at public/media events. (e.g., a Boat Cleaning Guide Book, watercraft inspections contact information, etc.). More information can be found on DBW and/or CDFW websites.
* California Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Water Resources, Food and Agriculture, Parks and Recreation/Division of Boating and Waterways, Cal Fire, CalTrans, State Water Resources Control Board, Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Lands Commission, Natural Resources Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Pacific Gas and Electric and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
DMV VESSEL RENEWAL INQUIRIES
DBW QUAGGA & ZEBRA MUSSEL INQUIRIES
CA STATE PARKS MEDIA INQUIRIES
CDFW Q/Z MUSSEL PROGRAM INQUIRIES
Toll Free: 866.440.9530
Infestation Prevention Grant
The Legislature enacted Harbors and Navigation Code, Division 3, Chapter 5, Article 1.3 Sections 675 and 676, which became effective January 1, 2013. The statute requires the Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways, (DBW) to promulgate regulations to impose an additional Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention Fee to the boater registration fee collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles, for the purpose of funding infestation prevention programs in California's reservoirs.