Quagga mussel checkpoints added near Lake Powell, decontamination options

LAKE POWELL – Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is conducting watercraft checkpoints near Lake Powell to inspect for quagga mussels. The first was held May 13 and dead quaggas were found on one of 11 boats checked by conservation officers near Big Water on U.S. Highway 89.

The boat owner was given a warning for not completing the first part of a three-step decontamination process — cleaning mud, plants and debris off his boat after removing it from Lake Powell.

Lake Powell is infested with quagga mussels, DWR Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Jordan Nielson said.

Simply put, there are three steps to decontaminate your boat: Clean, drain and dry.

(report continues below)

Video courtesy of the DWR – learn more: STD of the Sea Web page

“It’s vital — and also Utah state law — that boat owners clean all of the mud, plants, debris and shelled organisms off their boat after pulling it out of the water,” he said.  “Also, you must drain all of the water that’s inside the boat before you leave the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.”

Division of Wildlife Resources Lt. Scott Dalebout examines a dead quagga mussel found on a boat at a watercraft checkpoint on U.S. Highway 89 near Big Water, Utah, May 15, 2015 | Photo by Heather Talley, courtesy of DWR, St. George News
Division of Wildlife Resources Lt. Scott Dalebout examines a dead quagga mussel found on a boat at a watercraft checkpoint on U.S. Highway 89 near Big Water, Utah, May 13, 2015 | Photo by Heather Talley, courtesy of DWR, St. George News

Drying your boat for a specific period of time after being on Lake Powell must be completed before the boat can be placed on a water other than Lake Powell.

Dry times vary during different times of the year. For example, in the summer, you must allow your boat to dry for seven days before placing it on another water.

If you want to place your boat on a body of water sooner than the seven-day drying time, you’ll need to get it professionally decontaminated.

Decontaminations are free.  To schedule a decontamination, call any Utah State Park with a reservoir. You can also contact your nearest DWR aquatic invasive species biologist; in Southern Utah, biologists are:

  • Southern Utah | Matt Bartley | Telephone 435-691-2427
  • Lake Powell, Bullfrog | John Steffan | Telephone 435-613-3700
  • Lake Powell, Wahweap | Adam Boehm | Telephone 435-592-9723

In Southern Utah, boats can also be decontaminated at Sand Hollow State Park, located at 3351 South Sand Hollow Road in Hurricane, and operating daily from 7-9 a.m. and 3-5 p.m.  For more information call 435-680-0715.

Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers stop vehicles with boats on U.S. Highway 89 for quagga mussel inspection checkpoint, Big Water, Utah, May 13, 2015 | Photo by Heather Talley, courtesy of DWR, St. George News
Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers stop vehicles with boats on U.S. Highway 89 for quagga mussel inspection checkpoint, Big Water, Utah, May 13, 2015 | Photo by Heather Talley, courtesy of DWR, St. George News

Other inspection stations

Mandatory inspection stations are in place for any vehicles towing or carrying watercraft at the Port of Entry off Interstate 15 just south of St. George and at the Daniels Canyon port of entry in north-central Utah.

Why the concern?

There are many reasons why Utahns don’t want quagga mussels, or the quagga’s cousins, zebra mussels, brought into the state:

  •  Mussels can plug water lines, even very large diameter pipes
  • If mussels get into water delivery systems in Utah, it will cost millions of dollars to try to remove them.  Utahns would likely pay for the removal through higher utility bills
  • Mussels remove plankton from the water column, the same plankton that support Utah’s sport fish and native fish;  the mussels could devastate fisheries in Utah
  • Mussels can damage your boat by attaching themselves to your boat’s hull and fouling the boat’s engine cooling system
  • When mussels die in large numbers, they stink, and their sharp shells can cut your feet as you walk along beaches where the mussels died

Resources

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Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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3 Comments

  • fun bag May 29, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    you can’t keep the quagga mussels away from waters they were meant to live in. just give it up already…

    • Mike May 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      “Waters they were meant to live in…” These are native to the Ukraine. Just wash your boat.

    • wilbur May 30, 2015 at 8:33 am

      so how they gonna keep the 120 mile-long lake powell pipeline clean?

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