With the New Year comes another fee for Colorado boaters.

It's the dead of winter but spring will be here before you know it. Before you drag the boat out and head to the lake on that first spring fishing trip you'll need a 2019 Aquatic Nuisance Species Stamp.

The Colorado legislature approved the $25 resident fee ($50 for non-residents) to collect funds to fight invasive species in Colorado. This new Stamp will provide about 50% of the funding needed to operate Colorado's ANS Program. Its efforts include boat inspection and decontamination services, sampling and water monitoring, management efforts of existing invasive populations, and education/outreach efforts.

There are several invasive plants and animals to be concerned with but Colorado Parks & Wildlife are most focused with containing zebra and quagga mussels. Recently, quagga mussel larvae were confirmed in Green Mountain Reservoir. Once established the mussels can clog water intake pipes and underwater screens damaging boats, power plants, and harbors. They also damage the lake's ecosystem. They feed by filtering the water and removing large amounts of food and plankton, effectively starving the native species.

Colorado residents can acquire the new ANS Stamp when you register your boat. If you renew your registration online or a renewal postcard, the cost of the stamp will appear as part of your total amount due. You don't need to add the $25 amount to your payment for the ANS Stamp.

Remember too that boat inspection is mandatory in Colorado. All trailered and/or motorized watercraft are required to be professionally inspected by a state certified official. You can find the list of all 72 Colorado inspection stations by clicking HERE.