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Thousands Of Boats Inspected For Invasive Mussels Over Holiday Weekend

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Law enforcement and wildlife resources officers inspected more than five thousand boats as part of efforts to keep the invasive quagga mussels out of Utah lakes and other waters.

Officers found the mussels on 118 watercraft during the inspections and 54 people were cited for violating laws that are meant to prevent the mussels from spreading.

“In order to keep our Utah waters mussel free, we need public support and compliance,” said Sgt. Krystal Tucker of the Department of Wildlife Resources. “Individuals with any watercraft who are traveling past an open inspection station are required to stop so our technicians can conduct an inspection for quagga mussels.”

A news release from the Department of Wildlife Resources said motorists can get their craft checked at any one of 40 inspection stations at boating areas and highways in Utah.

Wildlife managers said the mussels are such a threat because they can clog water lines, including large lines. Removing them costs the state millions of dollars.

This mussel was found on a boat at Lake Powell in 2016. If attached mussels are found on your boat this year, you’ll have to get it decontaminated and allow it to dry for the required length of time.

They can also clog the cooling systems on boat engines causing costly damage.

Fish species around the state are also threatened by the mussels because they eat plankton.

People walking along beaches have discovered the mussels die in large, stinky numbers and the shells from dead mussels are sharp and can cut skin.

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