• Red cliffs descend into the water of Bighorn Canyon

    Bighorn Canyon

    National Recreation Area MT,WY

Zebra Mussels - What Boaters Should Know

Spread the message to stop Zebra Mussels

Spread the message to stop Zebra Mussels

NPS

Stop Zebra Mussels - NOW!
Zebra or guagga mussels are invasive freshwater mollusks that infest waters in large numbers, attaching to hard surfaces. have widespread impacts on power plants, irrigation systems, and other water users. They clog pipes, pumps, turbines and filtration systems.

At this time Bighorn Canyon does not have zebra mussels, but our neighboring states of Colorado and Nebraska do. Once the mussels invade a water way, they clog power-plant and public water intakes and pipes. These creatures then spread to new habitats on boats trailered by the public or by commercial haulers unaware they have hitchhikers. You can help stop aquatic hitchhikers by following these simple steps:

Clean: Remove all plants, animals and mud. Then thoroughly wash everything, including all crevices and other hidden areas on your boat and equipment.

Drain: Eliminate all water before leaving the area, including wells, ballast, and engine cooling water.

Dry: Allow time for your boat to completely dry before launching in other waters.


 
Zebra Mussels
Zebra Mussels
NPS
 

If You Don't Have A Boat
You may not have a boat, but like many in the Bighorn Basin and areas north of Yellowtail Dam, you depend on power and irrigation from Buffalo Bill Dam, Boysen Dam, and Yellowtail Dam. You also enjoy scenic waterways and fishing opportunities along waterways created by these facilities.

Zebra or quagga mussels have widespread impacts on power plants, irrigation systems, and other water users. They clog pipes, pumps, turbines and filtration systems. Costs for repairs and maintenance are then passed to you. These exotic mussels remove plankton from the water, a primary food source for forage fish. Forage fish are the food of sport fisheries.

What would this do to the fisheries of the Bighorn and Shoshone Rivers? The lake trout population in Lake Ontario has declined by 95% in the past 10 years due to a crash in the food chain caused by exotic mussels. Keep Wyoming and Montana waters free of these aquatic hitchikers. Help spread the message!

For More Information
Please visit the following web sites:

100th Meridian Initiative

Protect Your Waters

Aquatic Invasive Species In Wyoming

Did You Know?

Fishing the Bighorn River, photo by Doug Haacke

The 112 mile long Bighorn River below Yellowtail Dam is a complex fishery. The upper river supports mainly trout and whitefish, while the lower stretches hold goldeye, walleye, sauger, smallmouth bass, catfish and even pike. More...