More than 268,000 boats inspected for quagga mussels during 2023 boating season, DWR says
Nov 14, 2023, 2:10 PM
(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says more than 268,000 boats have been inspected for quagga mussels since Jan. 1.
The DWR says of the boats inspected, officers performed 6,625 decontaminations.
According to a news release from DWR, Lake Powell is the only body of water in the state that is currently infected with the water species. The DWR says there have been 64,341 boat inspections and 1,584 decontaminations at the Lake Powell area.
In 2022, the DWR says there were 248,774 inspections, of which there were 4,376 decontaminations.
In addition, the DWR also issued more than 450 citations and warnings to violators of laws passed to help prevent the spread of quagga mussels around the state.
The DWR says most of those violations came from one of three things.
- Boaters are not taking the required education course and are not displaying the certification form.
- Boaters and those with other watercraft, such as kayaks and waverunners, are not stopping at the mandatory inspection stations throughout the state.
- Boaters are not removing drain plugs during transport.
“Overall, our boaters have been very compliant in helping to ensure that aquatic invasive species don’t spread in Utah,” said DWR Aquatic Invasive Species Lt. Bruce Johnson. “We really appreciate everyone’s efforts. And while the boating season is winding down for the year, make sure to plan ahead for next year and be sure to take the mandatory education course, pay the required fees, and display the necessary decals on your watercraft, so you can be ready for a great boating season next year.”
The problems quagga mussels can cause
According to the DWR, the water species can plug water lines, even those large in size.
Other problems include:
- It will cost the state millions every year, if it gets into the water delivery systems.
- Fish species are hurt around the state when qugga mussels removes plankton from the water.
- A boat engines can be damaged, if the species gets into the engine’s cooling system.
- When mussels die in large numbers, they create a foul odor. And the sharp shells of dead mussels can cut the bottom of a person’s foot, while walking on a beach.