Posted: Thursday, 21 June 2012 6:49AM
Law Outlaws Invasive Plants, Animals In Lake Whatcom
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The Bellingham City Council has given its initial approval of an ordinance outlawing the release of invasive plant of animal species into Lake Whatcom or Lake Padden.
Under the new law, anyone caught releasing or launching a watercraft carrying non-native species into the lakes will be committing a civil infraction with a fine of up to $1,000.
City staff will be authorized to inspect boats and issue the fines, as well as escort any violating boats off of the water.
Last year's discovery of Asian clams in Lake Whatcom fueled fears that more invasive species could get into the watershed, possibly damaging the intakes for the city's water system.
Among the prohibited species are African Clawed Frogs, Chinese Pond Turtles, Spiny Water Fleas, live Northern Pike, goldfish, koi, and zebra mussels.