National Park Service Issues Mussel Monitoring Update for Lake Powell March 27 2013
The National Park Service (NPS) has identified 14 adult quagga mussels attached to moored vessels and dock structures at the Wahweap Marina in Lake Powell over the last week. None of the adult mussels were close enough together to mate for successful reproduction. All of the mussels were physically removed from the lake.
The first four mussels were found when a local marine service business noticed the small shells on a boat that had been pulled for maintenance and then notified the NPS. "We really appreciate the report of this finding since it will help in the removal of the adult mussels before they can reproduce," said Mark Anderson, Glen Canyon Ecologist. "It's likely that the mussels were introduced via ballast or bilge water from a boat(s) that was not cleaned, drained, or dried."
Boats, docks, and cables in Wahweap Bay will continue to be assessed by the NPS dive team. The Antelope Point area was inspected beginning in December of 2012 with no mussels discovered.
Superintendent Brindle remains hopeful that the monitoring results are not evidence of an established population of mussels. "If it is an early detection, the mussels may not establish and reproduce", said Brindle.
"It is important to note that we have not found a reproducing population," Anderson stated. "Prevention is still the most effective way to fight invasive species, so we will continue the boat inspections that are currently in place. Everyone needs to take this as a warning to continue to clean, drain, and dry your boat and equipment after every use."
Additional monitoring information and updates are posted on the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area webpage at www.nps.gov/glca/parknews/musselupdate.htm.