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 financial costs and has serious impacts on native wildlife and the local ecosystem.
With the discovery of non-native quagga mussels in the Colorado River system, including Lake Mead, boaters are urged to take positive action to avoid spreading this aquatic invasive species. Though this species is spread easily when boats are moved from one water to another, there are steps boaters can follow to help contain these unwelcome mussels. When removing a boat from any 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.
- Completely inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels. Also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull which may be young mussels that can be hard to see.
- Empty your bait bucket on land.
- Flush the motor, bilges, hull, trailer, and any other exposed part with hot, soapy water.
- 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 your boat and other equipment for at least five days before launching in any other waterway.