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NDOW to host big-game tag application workshop

Southern Nevada hunters who would like to learn more about Nevada’s big-game tag application process can do so by attending one of two informational workshops hosted by the Nevada Department of Wildlife. On the agenda are the application procedure, tag quotas and draw odds, as well as a discussion about bonus points and the role they play in the tag application process. Also to be discussed are common application errors and how to prevent them.

Both workshops will be at the Clark County Shooting Park Education Center, 11357 N. Decatur Blvd. An evening workshop will be from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday. For those who prefer a daytime class, a second workshop is scheduled for March 30 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Reservations are not required, but seating is limited. Call 486-5127, Ext. 3501 for more information.

Nevada’s annual big game tag draw was scheduled to begin March 18. Tag applications can be submitted online at www.huntnevada.com. Paper applications are also available. The deadline to submit tag applications is 5 p.m., April 18. Postmarks don’t count.

GO BOATING, GO FISHING, GO CLEAN

Watch for nuisance species before taking boat out

The ice is coming off Central Nevada waters, and that means it’s time to load up your gear and go fishing. But when you do make that long-awaited trip, please don’t take any mussels — or any other aquatic nuisance species — along with you.

That request comes to anglers and other recreational boaters from the Nevada Department of Wildlife, which is asking outdoor enthusiasts to clean, drain and dry their boats, trailers, canoes, waders, float tubes and other related gear before leaving one body of water and heading to another, regardless of one’s starting point or their final destination. These simple steps, the agency said, will help prevent the spread of quagga mussels and other aquatic nuisance species between waterways.

“An aquatic nuisance species is any non-native species of aquatic plants or animals that has a negative effect on a native species or on the ecological stability of a waterway,” said Jon Sjoberg, supervising fisheries biologist for NDOW. “Those negative effects can include a decrease in the numbers of sportfish and a loss of recreational fishing opportunity.”

Quagga mussels, which have had a significant impact on boaters and anglers since their discovery in January 2007 in the lower Colorado River System, are just one example of an aquatic nuisance species. Others include zebra mussels, a cousin to the quagga, and New Zealand mudsnails. These small animals are moved from one waterway to another primarily through human-related activities.

This is especially true with quagga mussels because they have the ability to attach to hard surfaces such as boats, trailers, vehicles and fishing equipment. Though they are an aquatic species, quagga mussels can survive out of the water for several days.

Clean the hull or trailer and remove all plant and animal materials. Drain any water from the boat, livewell and the lower unit as well as the boat trailer. And dry the vessel before moving elsewhere. If your boat has been in a body of water where quagga mussels, zebra mussels or New Zealand mudsnails have been found, keep the vessel dry and out of water for at least five days.

More information on aquatic nuisance species in Nevada can be found online at www.ndow.org/boat/exotic/.

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