Quagga Mussels Found in Lake Powell

4th Of July Weekend, Utah Discovered Quagga Mussels On 157 Of 210 Boats Pulled From Powell

Hard to get the toothpaste back into the tube . . .

 The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spent the Fourth of July weekend battling invaders — and trying to keep quagga mussels from spreading. According to the DWR, 210 boats were decontaminated after being pulled out of Lake Powell, and invasive quagga mussels were discovered on 3 out of 4 of them, 157 boats in all. Seventeen boaters were cited for either not stopping to have their boats inspected or for transporting their boats with the bilge plug still in.

 Boaters are required to have their boats decontaminated after they’ve been in Lake Powell. The bilge plug must be removed and the water drained to prevent the mussels from spreading to the next body of water the boats enter.

 “We are doing everything we can to protect Utah’s water infrastructure,” Scott Dalebout, DWR statewide operations lieutenant, said in a news release. “This isn’t just about preventing damage to boats — this is about making sure these invasive species don’t spread to other water bodies where they will get into water pipelines and cause millions of dollars in damage to Utah’s water infrastructure.”

 The quagga problem has gotten worse this year at Lake Powell because the lake level has risen and caused previously exposed mussels to dislodge and float in the water. That has resulted , the release said, in "significantly more boats . . . leaving Lake Powell with mussels and shells onboard their vessels, in sea strainers, or on anchors and in compartments."