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:

Don't let it loose!!!


Released pets can harm the ecosystem and even people. Please don't let them loose. Never release a plant or animal into the wild. Always remember to C.A.R.E. for them.

  • Contact...the place where you purchased the pet to see if they will take it back.
  • Act responsibly...by never letting animals or plants loose into the wild.
  • Research...other places that may be able to provide a new home for your pet. Pet stors, zoos, animal shelters and humane societies may be able to help.
  • Euthanize...the animal in a humane way. It may be hard to consider, but this option is far kinder than letting it starve to death.
 
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?