It is common knowledge that most boats need to be registered in California with DMV and display the current registration sticker along with the vessel’s CF number on each side of the hull. Several years back an additional sticker, the Mussel Sticker, was required to be displayed next to the registration sticker. In 2012 AB 2443 authorized the Division of Boating and Waterways to require DMV to collect an additional Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation Fee effective December 31, 2013, on all vessels registered in the state. Many of you were surprised, even happy, when the cost of your boat registration for 2022 and 2023 went down and no Mussel sticker was included with your new boat tags. Did the program just go away? Not likely in California. Without mention of the new procedure in the boat registration paperwork, that began January 1,2022, many boat owners simply put on their new registration tags and went on their way displaying a green 23 registration tag and the now expired yellow 21 mussel sticker.
Make no mistake, there is a green 23 mussel sticker that is required to be displayed on all California boats that operate in fresh waters including inland lakes and reservoirs, rivers, wetlands and the delta. The change in procedure making the mussel sticker available separately stems from a 2021 revision by the California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways of their rules to meet federal requirements. Boat owners are encouraged to purchase the mussel sticker online at www.dmv.ca.gov/musselfee and will no longer have the option to purchase them by mail or telephone.
Local PCSO boat patrols have been busy educating boaters about the need to obtain and display the current mussel sticker with only a few citations given out to boaters who choose to ignore previous warnings. The $16 fee is supposed to provide funding for infestation prevention and education through grant funding which is administered by the Division of Boating and Waterways.
Capt. Bryan Roccucci
Available Now In Our On-Line Store
Give the gift of fishing with a BDGS "Fish Certificate"