Decontamination of boats ordered for Lake Powell
Published: March 30, 2013 08:48PM
Updated: March 31, 2013 03:11PM
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Quagga mussels cling to the bottom of this boat at Lake Mead. Federal authorities said they have removed 150 of the invasive mussels from Lake Powell. File photo by Natalie Muth, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Director Greg Sheehan has signed an order requiring decontamination of boats leaving Lake Powell to prevent the spread of destructive mussels.

The order, which stems from the recent discovery of 14 mussels at Lake Powell, is aimed at preventing the spread of the mussels to other Utah waters.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep quagga and zebra mussels out of Utah,” said Larry Dalton, DWR’s aquatic invasive species coordinator.

“If mussels ever establish themselves here, they could do millions of dollars in damage to water-delivery systems. They could also affect the state’s recreation areas and fishing, and damage boats,” he said.

Dalton said that boat owners can decontaminate their own crafts or have it professionally done. Instructions on how to decon­­taminate a boat are available at: http://wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/decontaminate.html .

Dalton said boat owners must also complete a decon­tamination certification form, which is available at: http://wildlife.utah.gov/mussels/PDF/self_certify.pdf .

Boat owners must display the form in their launch vehicle before launching a boat on any water in Utah.

Dalton says the decontamination order isn’t just for the Easter weekend.

“The order will stay in place as long as there are mussels in Lake Powell,” he said.