Boaters at Lake Mead urged to take action against mussels |

Boaters at Lake Mead urged to take action against mussels

Don Quilici

According to a recent press release by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), with the discovery of non-native quagga mussels at Lake Mead, the National Park Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department and NDOW are urging boaters to take positive action to avoid spreading this aquatic invasive species.

This species is easily spread when boats are moved from one water to another, and there are steps boaters can follow to help contain these unwelcome mussels.

“We have identified a brief list of effective ways boaters can ensure that their boats do not become the means of infecting other waters,” said Doug Nielsen, a public information officer for NDOW.

When removing a boat from Lake Mead, or any other infected water, boaters should do the following:

— Drain the water from your motor, live well, and bilge on land before leaving the immediate area of the lake.

— Flush the motor and bilges with hot, soapy water or a 5% solution of household bleach.

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— Completely inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visual mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

— Wash the hull, equipment, bilge and any other exposed surface with hot, soapy water or use a 5% solution of household bleach.

— Clean and wash your trailer, truck or any other equipment that touches the lake water. Mussels can live in small pockets where water collects.

— Air-dry the boat and other equipment for at least five days before launching in any other waterway.

— Do not reuse bait once it has been exposed to infested waters.

Quagga mussels are biofoulers that obstruct pipes in municipal and industrial raw-water systems, requiring untold millions of dollars annually to treat. Each and every body of water that becomes infected with these creatures raises the financial costs and has serious impacts on native wildlife and the local ecosystem.

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