In Colorado, bill would make boaters pay to keep invasive mussels out

The Colorado Senate has approved a bill that would require boaters to pay up to continue efforts to keep out invasive mussels.

Boaters in the state would pay an annual aquatic nuisance fee of $25, and out-of-state boaters would need to pay $50.

The legislation, which has support from Democrats and Republicans, would also increase penalties for breaking state aquatic nuisance species laws.

So far, the state has been spared from the westward invasion of mussels that began in the Great Lakes. But state wildlife officials warn that invasive zebra and quagga mussels would seriously hurt recreation and infrastructure like pipes and hydroelectric power generation.

The bill passed the state Senate in a 24-10 vote. It needs to clear the House before heading to Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

— Greenwire