Sand Hollow loses its mussel

Fishermen stand on sandstone rocks, Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, Utah, March 14, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

HURRICANE – As of Monday, a bill was passed that allowed the classification of Sand Hollow Reservoir to be termed non-contaminated with quagga mussels. This came after a three-year-track of scrupulous monitoring and testing for any signs of mussels.

About four years ago on May 21, 2010, a diver discovered one quagga mussel in Sand Hollow Reservoir attached to the submerged structure of the boat dock, Sand Hollow State Complex Park Manager, Laura Melling, said. At which point, Sand Hollow Reservoir was put under cautionary restrictions and had to decontaminate watercraft after departure from the water.

Sunshine glimmers off the reservoir, Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, Utah, March 14, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News
Sunshine glimmers off the reservoir, Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, Utah, March 14, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

“When we found the one mussel we became worried about the possibility of reproduction,” Melling said. “But in order for mussels to reproduce, they have to be within 18 inches of another mussel.”

Once a quagga mussel is unveiled, the body of water that contains it is put on a three-year track classified as contaminated. Continuous testing is imperative to finding conclusive results as to whether or not the mussel has died or reproduced.

After three years of being designated as infested, the regulation has been relieved.

A boat glides through the reservoir, Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, Utah, March 14, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News
A boat glides through the reservoir, Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, Utah, March 14, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

“There is no evidence or DNA that can be found to suggest that there are any other mussels in Sand Hollow,” wildlife department spokesman Lynn Chamberlain said.

A red warning sign now stands before the toll booth at Sand Hollow State Park, but instead of cautioning about the quagga mussels being in the reservoir, it now advises that any watercraft having been in Lake Powell or any other mussel-affected body of water within the previous 30 days must be decontaminated before entering.

For a four-year stretch, park managers and government employees were diligent in directing an abundance of time and energy to decontaminating boats after they emerged from Sand Hollow Reservoir, now they can focus on checking boats as they come in and engage in education about decontaminating.

“I’m excited about this because I can put more time into checking boats rather than washing boats,” Melling said.

Related posts  

Email: astoddard@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

12 Comments

  • Kimalene March 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Ok. So the mussels are gone! What is being done about the swimmers itch problem?

  • Bub March 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    It’s just a matter of time…

  • Really? March 14, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Back to the honor system, that will work out well. It worked well for Lake Powell didn’t it.

  • Invasive March 14, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I have an invasive muscle

  • Megan March 15, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I agree about the swimmer’s itch! Eww! I haven’t been to sand hollow in years because of it.

    • Bub March 15, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      apparently it’s a small worm that borrows into the skin and then dies…

      • JOSH DALTON March 17, 2014 at 8:30 am

        That’s it! LETS GO SWIMMING! Gosh, its like finding out “he or she” has an STD and still having sex with that person.

  • JOSH DALTON March 17, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Has anybody noticed the real issue here? The fish are still floating in Sand Hallow! The last time I was there I was ragged on for not getting in the water. It was assumed because of my ethnic backround that I was unable to swim. This is not true! I was a lifeguard in high school. The truth is I don’t swim if the fish are not swimming. Thats a no brainer!

    • My Evil Twin March 17, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Don’t know, (or care for that matter,) what your “ethnic background” is, Josh, do you really think it had anything at all to do with people thinking you can’t swim? You know, bud, we ALL have some type or other of ethnic background. Stop using at as an excuse or a blame for everything, because to the vast majority of people, it doesn’t make any difference!

      • Josh Dalton March 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm

        Yes actually…White, racist, ignorant, can’t drive Utonians. Being that you used such profound words. You might not be as ignorant as most. Or even as ignorant and racist as myself. The comment made about my ability to swim was based specificaly on the fact I was black. Most black folk from the inner city don’t know how to swim. I am from such an area. So the assumption can be made. If you going to sit there and tell me the vast majority of (American) people are going to admit they have a bit of negro in them, then you are living in a world I want to come live in! Let me guess your Mom’s best friends next door neighbor is black, and they can swim. GO FALCONS!

        • My Evil Twin March 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

          Aw Josh, apparently you are under the much mistaken notion that “ethnic” equals “negro.” Perhaps you need to research the word “ethnic” and see what it actually means. It does not restrict to races of color.
          FWIW, my mother hated anyone who was not of the same ethnic background as herself. aka white. She lived in an area where the neighborhoods were totally segregated. So what?
          My daughter is the mother of an adopted mixed breed child. So what?
          So what does all this mean? Beats the hell out of me. But I do know you need to get over your anger.
          (Wish I could get over mine. . .)

          • JOSH DALTON March 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

            Wait…I am not only adopted, but also a “mixed breed.” I am not angry at all. I just love rocking the boat. So glad you used the word “negro” We live in a time that most are scared to use such language.

Leave a Reply