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Mussels Are On The Move

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

National Park News

A record number of six mussel-infested vessels were intercepted before they launched on Lake Powell last week, bringing the total for the year to thirteen. Since 2009, vessel inspections have more than doubled at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and more than 10,000 vessels have been decontaminated.

After prevention program inspections evaluate the threat posed by each vessel, National Park Service rangers decontaminate and quarantine suspect boats to prevent the spread of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels to Lake Powell and other non-infested bodies of water. These mussels attach to boats, equipment, and marine gear and are easily transported to other water bodies. As the mussel infestation in the lower Colorado River watershed advances, more vessels are becoming contaminated with mussels, even with only day-use on infested waters.

Zebra and Quagga mussels can survive out of the water as tightly sealed adults tucked into hidden crevices of a boat or as microscopic larvae in inaccessible standing water on boats or trailers. All equipment, including anchors and lines, should be dried before use at other waters for at least five days; up to 30 days may be needed in wet, temperate weather or if the boat storage is climate controlled.

"We require all vessels to be inspected to prevent the devastation that will occur if Lake Powell is infested with these mussels. All boaters should clean, drain and dry their boats before moving them to different waters,” said Superintendent Todd Brindle. “If there is any question that the drying time is insufficient, the vessels can be professionally cleaned.”  These professional services are available at no charge at all marinas of Lake Powell, funded by park entrance fees.


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