top of page

Watercraft Inspections

What to expect when expecting an inspection.


What are we inspecting for?

Standing Water, Mud, Plants, or Animals

Aquatic invasive species can be spread in even a small amount of standing water.  Invasive mussels have microscopic larvae called veligers, that can survive in even a single drop of water!  

Aquatic plants can be spread through a process known as fragmentation, even a small fragment of Eurasian Watermilfoil or Curly-Leafed Pondweed can be enough to start a new infestation.

Mud can provide habitat to transport Invasive species such as New Zealand Mudsnails.  Species such as New Zealand mudsnails can survive on wet surfaces like waders or other gear.  Did you know that female New Zealand mudsnails can clone themselves through a process called parthenogenises?  So a single New Zealand mudsnail can start an entire new infestation.

Inspectors are checking boats inside and out!  Including but not limited to hulls, trailers, transom/motors, equipment (such as lines, anchors, PFD's, etc), compartments, livewells & baitwells, bilges, etc for any standing water, mud, plants, animals, or any other conditions that may harbor aquatic invasive species.

Boat AIS panel_edited.jpg

How To Prepare For an Inspection

Before arriving please make sure your vessel is Clean Drain and Dry

Clean:  Clean all surfaces that touch water; Dispose of vegetation, mud, and sand; Remove any contaminants.  Using a garden hose or DIY carwash can be an easy way to clean your boat!

Drain:  Drain water from the bilge; Empty ballast tanks, live wells, and sea strainers; Lower the outdrive to drain ALL water from intakes.  Sometimes residual water remains kinked in the hoses and lines of a motor.  Lowering and raising the out drive several times, with a minute or two in between, can help ensure all the water drains out!

*PLEASE NOTE: Nevada state law and Pyramid Lake Tribal Law requires all boats have their drain plugs out while being transported on all Nevada state roads and on Tribal land.  This is so any residual water can drain out during the drive and reduce the risk of spreading Aquatic Invasive Species.

Dry:  Dry all compartments; Dry life jackets, ropes, and toys.  If weather and storage permits, leaving compartments open or using a box fan can help to dry out those hard to reach places!  Any water present during the inspection will result in a decontamination and a decontamination fee.

*PLEASE NOTE: Dry times can vary from 5 days in the summer heat, up

 to 30 days in the cold of winter to ensure complete mortality of all invasive species.

Decon Fee Flyer.png


Boats that arrive not Clean Drain and Dry will need to pay a fee for decontamination

In order to deter boaters from arriving with standing water on their vessels, any boat found to have standing water (including motors) on or in their vessel will require decontamination prior to launching.  We use hot water to decontaminate.  Hot water cooks anything that may be alive in the standing water.

This decontamination fee is completely avoidable, to avoid paying any additional fees simply make sure you vessel is Clean Drain and Dry prior to arrival.

The fees will be structured at $15 for the first system that requires decontamination and an additional $5 for every subsequent system that requires decontamination.  If a boat show up covered with mussel, there will be a $250 fee for decontamination.

Get in Touch
Pyramid Lake inspection station_edited.jpg

Do I need to get inspected every time I come out?

When the Water-craft inspection station is OPEN it is mandatory to stop and receive an inspection; pursuant to Tribal Regulations section 10.1.1  (Link to regs book below)

OPEN/CLOSED signs are posted at the following locations:

  • Just outside of Nixon going towards Popcorn

  • Pyramid Highway right before you come over the hill and can see the Lake.

If the station is open it is mandatory for all boats to stop and get inspected.  Hours of operation for the Inspection Station vary, please prepare for inspections by ensuring your boat or vessel is Clean Drained and Dry prior to every trip.

If the station is closed, boaters may fill out a self inspection form, to ensure their boat is not harboring aquatic invasive species, located at:

  • The Ranger station in Sutcliffe

  • Pelican boat launch

  • Popcorn launch area

  • Pyramid Highway Creel station.

Failure to stop when the station is open can result in fine (Tribal regs 10.1.1).

WID station Sutcliffe.jpg

Inspection Station Location

Located at the corner of SR-445 and Sutcliffe Drive

When first arriving in Sutcliffe, the inspection station is on the east side of SR-445.  Boaters will see a large, white, metal shipping container, with a high metal roof.


Self Inspection Forms

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

The Self Inspection Forms are essentially a risk assessment to determine if a boat is likely to be harboring aquatic invasive species, and for the program to gather data about where boaters are coming from and what water bodies their boats have been on recently. 

The back of the form has a list of infested water bodies, boaters are to review this list and if their boat has been on any of these water bodies they need to either be professionally decontaminated or to be Clean Drain and Dry for a minimum of 30 days, prior to launching.

Please note in accordance with Tribal regulations (section 10.2 in regs book), launching a vessel that is contaminated or potentially contaminated carries a fine of $500-$5,000.

Click Below for PDF of Self inspection Form.  When printing PDF please be sure to select "print on both sides" from printing options menu.

Self inspection drop boxes are located at:

  • Pelican boat launch

  • Ranger station in Sutcliffe

  • Popcorn launch area

  • Pyramid Highway Creel Station


Non-Motorized hand launch

Does my hand launch vessel require inspection?

At this time we do not require inspections for non-motorized hand launch vessels because of their relative low risk for harboring aquatic invasive species.  Non-motorized hand launch vessels include but are not limited to:

  • Kayaks

  • Canoes

  • Float tube

  • Inflatable pontoons

  • Inflatable rafts

  • Belly boats

  • Etc

We do ask that you Clean Drain and Dry your hand launch vessels in between water bodies and that you fill out a Self Inspection Form Prior to launching.

*PLEASE NOTE: If any vessel has a motor it will require an inspection and boat permit.

Watercraft Inspections: Get Involved
bottom of page