NPS, state officials surprised by mussel infestation numbers
Unexpectedly larger numbers of an invasive mussel species have turned up at southern Utah's Lake Powell, prompting state and federal officials to ramp up ongoing boat inspections and decontamination procedures.
Denise M. Shultz, spokeswoman for the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, said Tuesday that the numbers of adult Quagga mussels found at the lake by the National Park Service and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources came as water levels at Lake Powell have dropped and exposed previously underwater shorelines.
"Thousands of adult Quagga mussels have been found in various locations, such as canyon walls, Glen Canyon Dam, boats, and other underwater structures," Shultz stated. "The majority of mussels found are isolated adults, with additional groupings of small clusters. One adult mussel was found on the south canyon wall of Bullfrog Bay."
Shultz said that boat inspections and decontamination of incoming boats are still being implemented.
"It is crucial to keep the mussels from moving from Lake Powell to other lakes and rivers," Shultz said. "When leaving Lake Powell, all watercraft are required by Utah and Arizona state law to be decontaminated . . . before being moved to another water body."
Some tips for preventing mussel spread:
You must clean and drain your boat before you leave the vicinity of the lake.
You must dry your boat the required amount of time before moving it to another body of water, or you can have your boat professionally decontaminated.
Additional information on efforts to control the mussel infestations can be found by visiting http://parkplanning.nps.gov/qzmp.