Quagga Mussels in Lake Powell

Bucks Falcon Mercury

Searchers are still finding quagga mussels at Lake Powell. And, as Memorial Day weekend gets closer, you need to be aware of a three-step process you must put your boat through if it’s been on the lake.

So far this spring, searchers have found more than 115 quagga mussels attached to boats and boat docks at the Wahweap and Antelope Point marinas at the lake in southern Utah. Larry Dalton, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says searchers will likely find more mussels as they continue looking.

“No matter where you boat in Utah,” Dalton says, “it’s absolutely vital that you clean, drain and dry your boat and any equipment that comes in contact with the water.”

Once mussels establish themselves in a body of water, Dalton says it’s extremely difficult, expensive and sometimes impossible to remove them.

To reduce the chance that boaters accidently transport mussels from Lake Powell to other bodies of water in Utah, effective immediately, you must do the following:

Before you leave Lake Powell, you must begin a three-step decontamination process. Before you leave the lake, you must clean all mud, plants, mussels and other debris off of your boat. You must also drain all of the raw water from the boat’s bilge, live and bait wells, ballast tanks and lower engine unit.

After you’ve completed the first two steps (cleaning and draining your boat), you can legally leave the lake to travel into or through Utah where you must complete a third step: Drying your boat at home or having the boat serviced at a professional decontamination station.

If you’ve been boating on Lake Powell, you cannot launch your boat at any water in Utah until you’ve completed all three decontamination steps.

Clean, drain and dry

As Memorial Day weekend and another boating season rapidly approach, Dalton says now is the perfect time to brush up on your decontamination skills:

Quagga and zebra mussels move from water to water by attaching themselves to boats and other equipment that comes in contact with the water.

Cleaning, draining and drying your boat…

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