• If mussels are found on your boat, you will be directed to a private business. You will have to pay the business to professionally decontaminate your boat.
• If the specialist finds that mussels have attached themselves to your boat, you must let the boat dry for the required amount of time — 18 days in the spring and seven days in the summer — before launching anywhere else in Utah. The dry-time requirement is in addition to getting your boat professionally decontaminated.
Fines for knowingly transporting a boat that has mussels attached to it are steep, according to the DWR. The violation is a Class A misdemeanor with fines up to $1,950 and restitution to the DWR for any costs to decontaminate and quarantine your boat.
The DWR's Nate Owens says the Utah Wildlife Board recently approved the changes to lessen the chance that quagga mussels are moved from Lake Powell or Deer Creek to other waterways.
Since juvenile mussels — called veligers — have not been found at Deer Creek since they were initially discovered in 2014, biologists will be able to declare the reservoir mussel free in 2018.
Mussels are a problem because they plug water lines, even those that are large in diameter. If the mussels were to get into water pipes, it would cost millions to try to remove them. They can foul a boat engine's cooling system and damage the engine. Mussels also can devastate fisheries. Finally, when they die in large numbers, they stink. Their sharp shells can cut your feet when you walk along the beaches.