Lake Powell Receives Mussel Free Rating
Invasive zebra and quagga mussels pose a major threat to aquatic resources and would cause significant ecological and economic impacts at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The National Park Service (NPS) and interagency partners began a pro-active mussel prevention program in 1999 after scientists predicted that Lake Powell would become the first site in the western United States to become infested with zebra and quagga mussels.
A false positive detection of mussels in August 2007 caused the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to issue an inconclusive rating for Lake Powell. Now after three years of extensive monitoring and not detecting a single mussel, the inconclusive rating has been changed to negative, meaning Lake Powell is mussel free.
"I’m not usually pleased to get a negative rating, but in this case negative is good and Lake Powell remains mussel free," said Superintendent Stan Austin. "We have invested a tremendous amount of effort into the mussel prevention program at Glen Canyon. I’m proud of the staff and partners who have worked so diligently and I’m thankful to the boating public for their strong support and compliance."
"Our science has shown that Lake Powell has always been and remains mussel free" stated NPS aquatic ecologist Mark Anderson. "Had mussels been present in 2007, they would be easily detectable today. The false positive results in 2007 were always in question and now, three years later, the mussel free rating has increased everyone’s confidence level."
The NPS holds monthly coordination meetings with approximately twenty partner organizations representing local, state, and federal entities. Check the website at www.nps.gov/glca for more information including the latest lakewide ramp times and certification requirements and always be sure to CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY all watercraft and equipment.