Public meeting on state plan to tackle invasive species in Whatcom

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 31, 2013 

BOAT INSPECTION CLO

Rachel Garcia, left, an aquatic invasive species inspector with the Lake Whatcom Management program, looks in an anchor well with boat owner Richard McLellan, right, on the first day of required boat inspections for invasive species Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Bloedel Donovan Park in Bellingham. David Lofgren, center, also with the Lake Whatcom Management program, is in the background. McLellan, who lives near Lake Samish, brought his boat to the park so he could get the annual pass and learn what he can do to keep invasive species off his boat.

COLIN DILTZ — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

BELLINGHAM - The public is asked to give input about proposed state rules that would protect water bodies from invasive species such as zebra mussels.

A meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Bellingham Public Library concerns proposed legislation from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife that could take on much of the responsibility and cost for keeping invasive species out of Lake Whatcom and other local waters.

Whatcom County and Bellingham instituted a boat inspection program at Lake Whatcom this year, to check for mussels and other unwanted aquatic species. Thursday's meeting is not intended for comment on the new local program.

The possibility of invasive mussels in Lake Whatcom is especially threatening because the shellfish could interfere with intakes on the city's water system.

The Bellingham Public Library is at 210 Central Ave. For more information go to wdfw.wa.gov/ais.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or ralph.schwartz@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Politics blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/politics or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldpolitics.

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