Documents | Instructional Videos | Preparing for Class | Class Materials | After the Class
Guidance for Teaching the Student WID Curriculum by Chapter
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5




Instructional Videos


Instructors, if you would like to embed any of these short videos into a PowerPoint (PPT) presentation, open a PPT slide and click on Insert, and then Video. A window will open up giving you three options: Movie Browser, Movie from File, and Online Movie. Click on Online Movie, and then you can provide the YouTube hyperlink listed after each of the videos in the list below. The movie will then be embedded in a PPT slide, making it easy for you to share with students and others.

An Overview of Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs (2018) (

COPW Boat Inspection (

COPW Full Decontamination (

How to Perform Ballast Tank Decontamination (2018) (

How to Perform Inboard Engine Decontamination (2018) (

How to Perform Inboard/Outboard Engine Decontamination (2018) (

How to Perform Plant Decontamination (2018) (

COPW Sample Collection (

Seaplane Inspection and Decontamination Video (PSMFC 2010)  


Preparing for Class

Practice!  You need to know the PowerPoints, Student Book and this Trainer’s Manual extremely well before teaching the class.  This will not only help your credibility and improve the time and flow of your presentation, but more importantly will increase the chance of graduating outstanding inspectors.

You must be up-to-date with procedures to ensure consistency.  Be comfortable with the material.

Face the classroom when you are speaking, not the screen.

Do not read the slides or use the slideshow as your cue cards. Set the room up so you can see the slides on your computer screen.  Some presenters are more comfortable with note cards to prompt them through the presentation.  The presentation notes are provided in the appendix and can be used in front of a classroom on a podium.

Make sure you are the focus of the presentation, not the visuals. Visuals are meant to enhance your presentation, not be the focus.

Be aware of your non-verbal cues: body language, gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice and volume.

Use the laser pointer appropriately to highlight important pictures or points.

When writing on flipcharts or white boards, alternate colors for each line and write neatly using capital letters.

Be positive!  While many things can go wrong in the field, this training is the student’s first exposure to his or her new job. The training should be engaging and empowering.  There are appropriate times in the training to discuss the negatives of the job (e.g. angry boaters should be discussed in the inspection section, not in the introduction demonstration).

Avoid excessive story telling.  It is often good to personalize the presentation by contributing your experiences.  However, excessive story telling can throw the schedule off fast and cause you to skip important information.

Stick to the Slide!  The training is set up in sequence.  Speak about the slide that’s present and avoid jumping ahead or getting off on tangents. 

Make sure people are comfortable (e.g. access to bathrooms, water, temperature, etc.).

Time management: Be aware of your time and do not go over.

Class Materials

WIT Forms For Level One Training (Course Evaluation Form, Written Exam, Watercraft Inspection Exercise)

WIT PowerPoint for Level One Training (Powerpoint) (.pdf)

Promotional Material Examples

Flyer for California Watercraft Inspection Training
Flyer for Arizona Watercraft Inspection Training
Flyer for Idaho Watercraft Inspection Training
Flyer for Missouri Watercraft Inspection Training

Prepare one for each student:

  • Agenda (print directly from student manual)

  • Student AIS Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Curriculum Book

  • Quality Assurance Form – Entrance Inspection

  • Educational Items (e.g. brochures, rack cards, flyers, handouts, etc.)

  • Final Exam

Prepare for the entire class:

  • Flip Charts, Markers and Easels

  • Boats for field inspection and decontamination demos where feasible use as many boats types as possible (recommended  -- 1 boat for every 6 people)

  • Decontamination unit(s) (recommended -- 1 decon unit for every 6 people)

  • Sign in sheet for each day

  • Laptop

  • Projector

  • Screen

  • Laser Pointer

  • Extension Cords and Power Strip

  • Standard Slideshows (be sure you have the latest version!)

  • Felt pads to “stage” boat with fake mussels – pistachio nuts and sunflower seeds work well

  • Inspection tools – magnifier, flashlight, mirror, clipboard with log, data collector, etc.

  • Decontamination tools – wand, diffuser, muffs, garden hose, fake-a-lake, etc

  • Displays - ZQM Anchor, Propeller or Props – be sure to have a settler pipe and an adult pipe

  • Other AIS Samples (e.g. rusty crayfish or New Zealand mudsnails)

  • Seal Receipt Books, Seals and Wire

  • Activity Log Form and/or mobile data collection device

  • Clipboards for students to use during practice sessions

  • Specimen collection kit (for demonstration)

  • Camera

  • Bait treatment supplies for demonstration (2 five gallon buckets, net, water and plastic fish)

  • Optional: Boat Models

  • Optional: Don’t Move a Mussel 2 DVD (require students to watch before class (preferred) OR play this in the morning when people are entering and waiting for class to start

  • Optional: 2 USFS Videos (play these videos on the lunch breaks)

After the Class

Within 5 business days following the class (preferably within 48 hours) the trainer must enter the training data into this website, including the student’s information, course evaluations, test scores and certifications provided.


Exams are graded by dividing the number of questions correct by the total number of questions. Example: out of a 50 answer test, and the student misses 3 (therefore 47 correct). 47 divided by 50 equals 0.94 or 94%. Each ANSWER on the test is 1 point, not each question.


Exams are valid if the students receive an 80% or better. Once the exams are entered into the website, the trainer can print certificates or ID cards assigned with unique ID numbers. This could be to an individual inspector or to a site supervisor. Decide this BEFORE they start the test to eliminate confusion.

Student Curriculum Guidance by Chapter
Chapter 1 - Introduction

For this training module, you need the following:

  • One boat prepped and ready for entrance inspection demonstration

    • Remove tarps, place the anchor, be sure you can lower the motor or activate a pump

  • WID log on a clipboard and pen, or data collector, for mock inspector

  • Flashlight, mirror, magnifier and brochure for mock inspector

  • Flipchart and markers for discussion after demonstration and presentation

  • Introduction PowerPoint presentation


The introduction module is divided into five activities in a strategic order.  This module sets the tone for the rest of the training, so it is important to begin on time and be engaging, positive and inviting.

  1. Lead instructor welcomes students to class 

  2. Outside demonstration of an entrance inspection, followed by facilitated discussion

  3. Introductions - name, authorized location, ice breaker (e.g. funny fact or hometown)

  4. Introduction PowerPoint presentation

  5. Questions and Answers (we ask students to hold their questions until the end)



The lead instructor should welcome the students to the classroom.  Other instructors should be introduced at this time also.  Instruct the students that we will begin class outdoors. 


Entrance Inspection Demonstration

Following the welcome, class begins with having all students get up and go outside.  The students do not need to bring anything with them – they just need to come outside and observe.  Have everyone get up (and get bundled if it’s cold out) and direct them to the boat demonstration area.  The trainers do a mock inspection in which one person is the boat inspector and the other is the boater (a volunteer from class or another co-worker can be used for the boater if there is only one trainer).   The boater is very nice.  The boater is from all negative waters, no live bait, no ballast, and has a clean and dry boat.  Be positive - Do not start class with an angry boater or a boater that changes his story mid inspection or a high risk inspection.  The mock inspector does a textbook entrance inspection following the step by step procedures perfectly, without commentary, as if no one was watching.  The purpose of this is to begin the class by showing the inspectors what you want them to do after the class, and how the final product should look and sound.


Once back in the classroom, go around the room and have each student tell you one thing that they did or did not observe the inspector do.  All students need to participate.  Do not let them shout out answers, unless the class is really small.  Facilitate the conversation so that each student feels safe participating.  This first activity will set the stage for the participation in the rest of this course.  This also helps the trainer get to know the students and discover which students are already knowledgeable and which ones have no idea what they signed up for.    


The trainer needs to write down every student’s answer neatly on a flip chart.  It is important to acknowledge the participation to create a meaningful training atmosphere.  When the discussion is complete, the flip charts should be posted on the wall.  This will serve as an ongoing reference during the class.   



The demonstration and discussion activity has allowed the class to open up and have dialogue previously, which enables a safe atmosphere for introductions.  At this point that you should have each student introduce themselves, by saying their name, work location, if they are a new or experienced inspector/decontaminator, and an ice breaker item (silly thing about themselves, pets, hometown, etc.).  Once everyone is done, thank them for being a part of the AIS network working to protect our waters. 


PowerPoint Presentation - Introduction

The introduction presentation includes the basic definitions of an invasive species, the importance of education, the regional history and activities, and an overview of western state programs.  The purpose is to give students a basic understanding of the big picture and to convey their importance in the network of people working to protect our waters.  It is also important to convey that the WID system has been tested – this is a solvable problem and we can keep invasive species out.  The intent is to make them feel they are a part of something very important and instill pride for their role in the success of the program.  We don’t have mussels everywhere because inspectors do a really good job!


Students should learn the following in the Introduction module:

  • What an invasive species is and specifically what an aquatic invasive species is

  • That there are more than just zebra and quagga mussels on our radar

  • Program History

  • Sampling and Monitoring Overview

    • Introduce the mussels life cycle in terms of different sampling methods for different life stages.  This will be repeated in the biology section, and again in the inspection section in terms of standing water, sandpapery bumps, attached adults.  This is a difficult concept for inspectors to understand so it is taught a bit differently in different sections.

    • Definitions for Water Bodies – Basis for Containment or Prevention

    • De-Listing Protocol for Water Bodies

    • Positive and Infested waters to watch out for.

    • WIDS – the big picture – lots of stats – pictures of mussel boats

      • Introduce Quality Assurance

      • Research – We are using the data they are collecting to make informed management decisions.  Good record keeping is very important (first mention of log form).

        • Ballast tank research - We are investing time and money to try and solve the most difficult parts of the WID process.  There is new technology to mitigate risk in ballast tanks due to a collaborative research project.

        • Western AIS State Programs – It’s important to convey that not only are we engaged in a multi-jurisdictional program within our areas, but the problem and the WID network extends beyond those in this class.  They will get boaters from other states and questions about other states rules.  This is a great time to introduce the Building Consensus efforts.

        • Education – The most important thing!  We train inspectors and they train the boaters!  That’s how we win this war!  It’s important to get boaters on our side for the protection of their recreation and their watercraft.  And they have a lot of tools available to help them.

        • Safety – It is critical to communicate the importance of safety up front to ensure that students participating in the outdoor sessions are safe and maintain three points of contact with the watercraft.

Chapter 2 - Biology of Zebra and Quagga Mussels, and Other AIS


For this module you will need:

  • Biology PowerPoint presentation

  • AIS props to pass around in class at the appropriate time of the presentation.

    • ZQM adults

    • ZQM settlers

    • Asian clams (to compare with ZQM)

    • Other AIS Props (as desired)

  • Boat(s) prepped for outdoor session

  • Flip charts and markers


The purpose of this module is for students to understand what they are looking for on watercraft and why it is important to keep invasive species from being introduced into our lakes and reservoirs.  The biology module is divided into four activities in a strategic order.

  1. Presentation on zebra and quagga mussel biology

  2. Outdoor session – How many mussels can you find?

  3. Presentation on other AIS Biology

  4. Group activity – Repeat

In this module, we reinforce the concept of life cycle and go into greater detail about mussel’s habitat preference.  This is not only important to understand how biology influences where mussels are likely to hide on a boat (e.g. dark places because they are light sensitive) but also helps the student begin understanding the importance of draining standing water and feeling the hull for bumps.  Of course, don’t go into the triggers for standing water decontaminations just yet – that’s much later in the agenda – remember we are planting seeds and by the time you get to decontamination the students will understand the reasons why, which means they are more likely to do it in the field. 


Another main reason to teach this module and be sure that inspectors understand mussel biology is that a large part of their job is educating the public.  Part of the inspection protocol includes education, and they will have to answer a ton of questions.  The better this module prepares the inspector, the better their contacts with boaters will be.

Lastly, this module is the first change that the students have to get hands on a boat and start looking for mussels!


PowerPoint Presentation - Zebra and Quagga Mussel Biology


The presentation goes through species identification, the three characteristics that make them invasive (byssal threads, filter feeders, prolific reproduction) and their negative impacts.  This has the scare factor in the slideshow - we want them to see how bad the mussels can be and motivate them to do good inspections to keep mussels and other AIS out of our waters.  We also want them to understand that mussels are bad for everyone – homeowners, municipalities, agriculture, energy, recreation, fisheries – everyone! 


Outdoor Session – How Many Mussels Can You Find?

The purpose is to demonstrate that it’s not as easy as one might think to find hiding mussels on watercraft, and that mussels come in many different sizes.  The chaotic nature of having all the students’ scourer the watercraft looking for mussels will reinforce the reality that inspectors need to follow a systematic procedure to actually find mussels on boats – it’s not as easy as it looks!  Later in the afternoon, we remind students of this when teaching the importance of following the step-by-step inspection procedure and doing inspections the same way every time to be sure you are going to find the mussels.


This activity requires that a boat be prepped for students to search for invasive mussels in advance.  It is recommended that a co-trainer or assistant prep the boats while the other trainer is doing the presentation. 


Teachers have often used different materials for this activity.  Felt sticky pads, pistachio nut shells, fake plastic fingernails, sunflower seeds and actual dead mussel and clam shells have all been used.  Some trainers have also used 3M washable glue spray and sand or pepper to create an area on the underside of the hull that resembles settlers that don’t rub off.  Regardless of what is used, remember to put them in places where mussels are most likely to be (e.g. underside of boat, hidden in trailer, in live wells, on anchor, on bumper, on anchor rope, in through hull fittings, in bilge plug, in engine compartments, in prop, etc.)  Don’t put ‘mussels’ on the deck in direct sunlight.  Write down exactly where you hid your ‘mussels’ so after the activity you can show students where the mussels are hiding.


When students go outside for this activity, break them up at various boats so the groups aren’t too large. Have them bring their book and a pen or pencil to write down where on the boat they found ‘mussels’.  Watch the clock so you don’t go over time.  Once the time is reached, have students gather around and show them all the places mussels are on the boat.  They will ‘grade’ themselves. 


PowerPoint Presentation – Other AIS Biology


The other AIS slideshow should be adapted by the trainer for their audience.  The species profiles provided in the student book and in the PowerPoint’s are common invaders, but the specific group being taught may be interested in other species.  Trainers should personalize this section to their audience. 


The other AIS slideshows are much shorter than zebra and quagga mussels and go over the basics of origin, identification, habitat, impacts and locations.  They also stress the cleaning recommendations for anglers and other recreationists. 


Group Activity – Repeat

The biology module is concluded with an opportunity for students to share what they have learned, and for instructors to evaluate if students understand the important concepts.  Engage the class in a brief facilitated session in which students tell instructors one thing they learned about mussel biology and one thing they learned about other AIS.  Write these down on separate flip charts and post them on the wall for the duration of the class.  This time should also be used for questions and answers before moving onto the next module.


Students should learn the following in the biology module:

  • Zebra and Quagga Mussels

    • What zebra and quagga mussels look like – smooth, striped shells with byssal threads

    • The three stage life cycle of mussels – veliger, settler, adult

    • Habitat preferences of mussels – light sensitive, live deep in water, right edges, etc.

    • Where mussels are from and how they have been introduced into new waters

    • The three main invasive characteristics – reproduction, byssal threads, filter feeders

    • Impacts – Ecological, Recreational, Economic, Infrastructure

    • There are no control methods in open waters and mussels cost us a ton of money

  • Other A.N.S.

    • First mention of the motto – No plants, No mud, No water, No mussels

    • ZQM is the poster child but WID protects against a lot of harmful species.

    • How to tell the difference between Asian clams and zebra/quagga mussels.

    • Origin, identification, habitat, pathways of spread, impacts for highest priority species

  • Main Points

    • It’s important to prevent the introduction of zebra or quagga mussels, or other AIS.

    • AIS can be moved in water and it’s important not to move water

    • AIS can be plants and it’s important not to move plants

    • AIS can sometimes be bait and it’s important not to dump bait

Chapter 3 - Watercraft 101


For this module you will need:

  • Watercraft 101 PowerPoint presentation

  • Boat models, if available

  • Boat(s) ready for outdoor boat anatomy session

  • Key to “Name That Boat Game”

The purpose of this module is to ensure inspectors know where to look on watercraft for AIS and are knowledgeable about boat terminology.  This is important because most inspectors are not ‘boat people’ when they are hired.  This module is also critical to set the students up for success in the subsequent inspection module.  The watercraft module is divided into three activities:

  1. Presentation on watercraft

    1. Boat Terminology

    2. Watercraft Risk Assessment

    3. Boat Anatomy – Where Do We Look

    4. Name that Boat Game

    5. Three unique complex watercraft – Ballast, PWC, Pontoon

    6. Boat Compendium for ANS Inspectors

  2. Outdoo session on boat anatomy (usually done between ‘c’ and ‘d’ in presentation)

  3. Group activity - repeat

In this module, we focus on general boat anatomy and terminology.  At the same time, we start to gain detail on watercraft risk.  The presentation has several different portions that break up the information into smaller learnable segments.  The presentation is reinforced with an outdoor session in which the concept of H.E.A.D. is introduced for the first time.  The module is concluded with a group session in which the students have an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned, and ask questions.


PowerPoint Presentation –Watercraft 101

The presentation for this module is quite long and therefore time management is essential.  The beginning of this slideshow is extremely important, as it methodically introduces the students to boats for the first time.  The presentation begins with an overview of boat terminology focused on the places most likely to have mussel attachment or standing water.  This is a great time to use boat models to show the class visually while presenting.  Focus on the areas of the watercraft that can hold standing water and remind the students what they learned in the biology module about veligers and other AIS being microscopic or small enough to be transported in standing water.  Introduce the importance of the bilge plug – asking the boater to pull it during inspection; having the boater put it in before launch, instructing the boater to leave it out during transport.  The beginning slides also cover marine propulsion systems.  It is important that students know the physical difference between trolling motors, outboards, inboard/outboard and inboard engines, in addition to their abilities to transport AIS. 

Next, the presentation reviews the watercraft risk assessment, defines simple and complex boats and explains hand-launched, non-motorized watercraft.  It is important that students learn these differences by definition at this point so they can flow through the inspection risk assessment and Activity Log coming up in the next module on inspection protocol.


In the third section, the trainer will quickly go through the “where do we look?” section of the slideshow.  These slides are arranged in the order of H.E.A.D.  The trainer should also conduct the outdoor session in the order of H.E.A.D.  By doing this module in that order, it will be much easier for inspectors to follow the step-by-step inspection procedure in the next module because they will already be practiced moving around a watercraft in that order.


The fourth portion of the slideshow is the “Name That Boat Game”.  The purpose is to reinforce watercraft risk types, marine propulsion systems and hand-launch/simple/complex/very complex definitions, by allowing the students to demonstrate module knowledge.  This is a really fun way to engage the class and evaluate what they have learned.  The trainer should flip through the slides with no commentary and allow students to write down answers in their curriculum books. Once everyone is done, the trainer should go back and review the answers.  Students can grade themselves.


Lastly, the presentation covers the three types of complex watercraft that are unique and inspectors often find challenging – ballast boats, pontoons, and PWCs.  Ballast boats are built so that they don’t pump dry.  Tell them we will talk about how we mitigate that risk in the inspection and decontamination procedures modules.  Just let them know they are a challenge and why at this point.  Begin to convey the concept of unverifiable standing water.  There are a lot of good things about pontoons in that they trailer high, accessible underneath, motor down during transport, etc.  But in rare cases pontoons can be challenging because they have lots of dark, wet nooks and crannies; and damaged pontoons can leak and hold standing water with no method for draining or decontamination.  PWC are a higher risk than originally thought because they can move a lot of water, some have ballast, they use jet engines, and the inspector must remove cover.  Go over inspection process for PWC in boat compendium.  It provides a great segue into the Boat Compendium. 











Quickly show the students the Boat Compendium pages and tell them the chapters are arranged by manufacturers and this is essentially a reference document for inspectors.  They should read it and use it.  Let them know the graphics were provided by the manufacturers and the chapters were approved by them.  Also, introduce the inspector survey and explain how the program staff created the book to serve the requests of the inspectors that year.


Outdoor Session – Boat Anatomy

The purpose is to reinforce the presentation by showing the students the parts on a boat and allowing them to touch the boat, compare parts, and look at them closely. 


The group activity is honestly one of the easiest and requires no prep in advance.  Take a group of students to a boat outside and go through the anatomy pointing out the important parts of the watercraft.  Begin at the bow with the hull and proceed through in the same order you would inspect a boat – port side of hull and trailer then starboard.  Next transom, then engine….  Use the correct terminology (e.g. port, not left).  Be sure all students see the boat and know what you are talking about (e.g. point and touch the part directly). Begin moving the students around the watercraft in the order of the step-by-step inspection procedure.  Reinforce repeatability.


Do not get lost in the inspection procedure or triggers for decontamination in this activity.  Teachers should be saying “this is this” and “that is that” and no more.  Let the students learn the anatomy of a boat, and the terminology at this point, without overloading them with procedures yet to come.


Group Activity – Repeat

The watercraft module is concluded with an opportunity for students to share what th

ey have learned, and for instructors to evaluate if students understand the important concepts.  Engage the class in a brief facilitated session in which students tell instructors one place on a boat that they need to look for AIS.  Write these down on a flip chart and post them on the wall for the duration of the class.  This time should also be used for questions and answers before moving onto the next module.

Chapter 4 - Inspection


For this module you will need:

  • PowerPoint presentation on Inspection

  • Flipchart and markers

  • WID Logs or Data Collectors

  • Seals and seal receipt books for demonstration

  • Equipment: flashlight, magnifier, mirror, wire cutters, digital camera

  • Specimen collection kit

  • Boat(s) ready for outdoor inspection session

  • Quality Assurance Form – Entrance Inspection


The purpose of this module is to teach students how to inspect watercraft for AIS and the standard procedures that they must follow as inspectors and/or decontaminators.  This is the most important section of the entire training.  Students must understand, retain and practice the details of this module. 


Ideal Inspector Activity

This module begins with a group activity “The Ideal Inspector”.  Engage the class in a brief facilitated session in which students tell instructors one quality that an ideal inspector or employee or co-worker should have.  Creative trainers can draw a person and label it on a flip chart.  Others may just make a list and write down the answers and post them on the wall for the duration of the class.  Every inspector should strive to be the ideal inspector. 


Examples of qualities include: professional, timely, sober, reliable, friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, thorough, detailed, awake, clean, hygienic, in proper uniform, passionate, etc.


PowerPoint Presentation – Inspection

The presentation begins with a discussion of the roles and responsibilities of an inspector and then goes into an overview of inspections including the goals for every boat, inspector’s priorities, and equipment.


The slide on the Activity Log is meant to be a placeholder.  Trainers should pause on this slide and give every student a log form.  Then the trainer should walk the students through the form from left to right and tell them how to fill it out.  Not only are you teaching the form, you are really teaching the inspection procedure.  Trainers can also have students download the mobile app and teach them using their smart phones if the students will use those on the job.  The procedures will be reinforced later.


The next section is on the wire seal and receipt.  This is key for students to understand, and it is the future basis for reciprocity across jurisdictions.  We want WID stations across the nation using seals and receipts according to these procedures wherever possible! 


Most inspections start with a seal removal and all exits end with a seal application.  We want as many boats sealed as possible.  Be sure students know how to fill out the receipt.  Practice reading receipts with them.  Bring old receipts if you have any to show – point out what’s good and what’s not.


Outdoor Session – Inspection Practice, Quality Assurance and Seal Application

Break from the PowerPoint after the seal slides and go outside and allow to minutes for students to practice using the log to guide inspections at the boats in pairs of three (boater, inspector, observer). 

  • The boater will need to have a WID Log, pen and clipboard (or smart phone or tablet). 

  • The observer will need to have the Quality Assurance Form for Entrance Inspection, pen and clipboard. 

  • The boater should have a pre-defined scenario or script.

Concurrently, cycle students through the seal application one by one and be sure they know how to attach a seal and remove a seal.


The Step By Step Inspection Procedures are probably the single most important thing in the training for students to get down and practice.  Students are asked to memorize the steps overnight.  The curriculum has the procedures and the slideshow goes through it in detail.

  • Entrance Inspection

  • High Risk Inspection

  • Exit Inspection  – Prevention (Negative) Reservoirs

  • Exit Inspection  – Containment (Positive or Suspect) Reservoirs​


The rules for standing water and corresponding procedures are detailed in both the presentation and curriculum.  It is important that the inspectors understand the triggers for decontamination and the reasons why. 


An overview of live aquatic bait rules are included in the inspection presentation.  The take home message is that they have to know the rules for their site because bait rules vary greatly among states, federal properties and local governments.  Students must know the triggers for decontamination or rejection.  Bait decontaminations are covered in the decontamination module. 


A brief discussion of reporting requirements and what inspectors should do when they find a mussel boat is included.  They need to remain calm and either follows the procedure in the decontamination module or call a supervisor.


Students should learn the following in the inspection module:

  • The expectations of them in their new job in terms of roles and responsibilities

  • Clean, Drain, Dry – No Mud, No Plants, No Water, No Mussels/Animals

  • Priorities for Inspectors

  • Required equipment

  • Data collection methods

  • Seal removal and application procedures

    • How to apply and remove a seal

    • How to write a seal receipt

    • How to read a seal receipt

  • The Step-By-Step Procedures

    • Entrance Inspection

    • High Risk Inspection

    • Exit Inspection  – Prevention (Negative) Reservoirs

    • Exit Inspection  – Containment (Positive or Suspect) Reservoirs

  • Know the standing water rules and triggers for decontamination

  • Understand what bait is legal at their site and triggers for decontamination

  • Their obligations for reporting AIS

  • What to do if they intercept a mussel boat

Most important – students learn the step by step inspection procedure and seal protocols!


On Day 2 – trainers will demonstrate an exit inspection and students will get to practice exits, seal applications and receipt writing in groups of three again.  Quality control forms will be used the same as on day 1.

Chapter 5 - Decontamination


For this module you will need:

  • PowerPoint presentation on decontamination

  • Flipchart and markers

  • Decon unit(s) with fuel, water and engine starter fluid

  • Decon attachments (garden hose, fake-a-lake, muffs, wand, diffuser, spray nozzles)

  • Boat(s) prepped and ready for full decon demonstration

  • Personal protective equipment (including water and heat resistant gear)

  • Extra safety glasses and gloves for students

  • Contact thermometer

  • Specimen collection kit for demonstrate

  • 5 gallon buckets (2), bait net and fake fish (or something to use as fish) for bait demonstration

The purpose of the decontamination module is to prepare students to perform decontamination at WIDS.  This module reinforces the triggers for decontamination, teaches the standard operating procedures for the decontamination unit, and empowers students to follow the step by step decontamination procedures.


PowerPoint Presentation – Decontamination (30-45 min)

The presentation is a brief overview of decontamination that follows along the curriculum chapter and touches on the highlights.  It is not meant to be comprehensive.  It is meant to be an introduction that will be reinforced through the outdoor sessions and the chapter review group activity.


Outdoor Session – Decontamination Unit Standard Operating Procedures, Winterization and Attachments

NOTE: For larger classes, this can be a third small group done at the same time as the next concurrent sessions. All students should wear the proper PPE when performing any type of decontamination.


Begin with showing the students the parts of the decontamination unit and giving them a basic understanding of how it works.  Next follow the decontamination unit’s standard operating procedure manual (specific to the unit you are teaching students to use) and do it while a student reads it to you.  Have each student turn the unit on and off to see how that feels.  Introduce attachments – show them, name them, and tell inspectors which procedures they are used for.


Concurrent Indoor and Outdoor Sessions:

Step by Step Decontamination Procedures, and Decontamination Demonstration and Practice


Note: This session is intended for two concurrent groups, unless the class size is less than 10.        


Indoor - Decontamination Manual

The trainer should arrange class so students and teachers are all sitting facing each other in a circle.  The trainer should sit with their students.  This time is spent going through the manual page by page with the students and talking through the step by step procedures for decontamination and asking questions (no PowerPoint).

  • Standing Water Decontamination

    • Interior Compartments

    • Engine Flush – Outboard, I/O, Inboards

    • Ballast Tank Flush

  • Plant Decontamination

  • Bait Decontamination

  • Full Decontamination: Mussel Boats!

Outdoor - Decontamination Demonstration and Practice

This outdoor session is for students to start and shut down the decontamination unit, put together attachments, spray the hull, flush an engine, flush a compartment, practice taking samples, etc. 


If time and equipment allows, the ideal is to break the class into small groups and have each group perform a full decontamination (start to finish) on a boat including all paperwork.  This will give them practice performing all procedures and exposure to all compartments, equipment, engines, hull and trailer sprays, sample collection, photos, and paperwork.


However, time often runs short for this during a two day training (60 minutes).  At a minimum, be sure each student sprays the hull and switches between high and low pressure, and everyone sees an engine flush.


Students must also know how to hook up the attachments and know where to have them hook up the muffs, fake-a-lake, garden hose and diffuser attachments so they know how to assemble those parts – this can be done inside in bad weather.

Students should learn the following in the decontamination module:

  • Know the reason for decontamination and decontamination triggers

  • Know the basic temperatures and pressures for each type of decontamination

  • Know the difference between the four types of decontamination and the step by step procedures for each

  • Know the standard operating procedures for the decontamination unit

  • Know how to hook up attachments

  • Know how to take samples and get them processed

  • Know how to process a mussel boat with a full decontamination

  • Know how to fill out decontamination paperwork

Most important – Students should feel comfortable using the manual and following the procedures to perform decontamination!