Launch at your own risk!
The public is asked to use extreme caution when using the public launch ramps at Lake Powell. The decrease in water levels has reduced the depth of water in these areas, creating shallow water on the ramps with steep drop-offs. More »
Zebra Mussel Advisory
Please read this information, then scroll down for Launch Ramp hours.
Invasive Mussel Prevention Requirements on Lake Powell
In response to the continued and growing threat of the introduction of quagga and zebra mussels at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, effective Nov 1, 2009, self-certification of watercraft will no longer be an option at Wahweap Main and Bullfrog launch ramps and screening for the invasive mussels by trained personnel will be mandatory for all vessels.
The monitoring of boats arriving at Lake Powell will be a collaborative and on-going effort among the partner agencies and restrictions may be modified as the threat of infestation is monitored. Keeping Lake Powell uncontaminated is essential to maintaining the economic and ecological vitality of the resource and surrounding communities and region.
Boaters are encouraged to continue to help stop the spread of invasive mussels by making sure their vessels and boating equipment are cleaned, drained, and completely dry before moving to a new body of water, make sure that any boats being moved from infested waters to non-infested waters are properly decontaminated prior to launching. We ask for your assistance in this effort by calling (928) 608-6301 if you see anyone launching outside the designated hours listed above.
Mussel-Free Certificate and Launch Ramp Hours
You are required to comply with Glen Canyon National Recreation Area's zebra mussel prevention program before you may launch your boat on Lake Powell. To remain in compliance with Glen Canyon NRA's regulations your vessel must be certified mussel free. A mussel free certificate must be displayed visibly in the windshield of your tow vehicle. Recertification is required with each new visit.
Failure to display this certificate could result in a mandatory court appearance, up to 6 months in jail, and a $5000 fine.
How to Certify:
At major launch ramps, self-certification of watercraft is not an option. Your watercraft must be certified by National Park Service or select concessions staff. Trained personnel will be available daily for screening at the following hours, effective November 1, 2013:
The launching of motorized watercraft is not permitted at Stanton Creek Beach effective Nov 1, 2010. At remote launch locations boaters are still allowed to self-certify their vessels are mussel-free. Save time when you get to the park by self certifying that your boats are free of zebra or quagga mussels before you arrive.You may do this process online only if you plan to launch from a remote location. Click here to download a self certification packet.
Quagga mussels, a type of invasive mussel commonly referred to as zebra mussels, have recently been discovered for the first time in the western United States. Mussels were initially discovered on January 6, 2007 in Lake Mead. They have subsequently been discovered in other lakes and waterways of CA, NV, AZ, and CO. In the meantime, the National Park Service's existing quagga and zebra mussel prevention program remains in place. Experts fear that zebra mussels could spread quickly through the Colorado River watershed and potentially establish themselves in other river systems.
Glen Canyon NRA Initially Announced its Expanded Zebra Mussel Prevention Program on March 30, 2007. Click here to read more. Since then Glen Canyon has further expanded its prevention program. In June of 2009 a newer update of the park's prevention plan was rolled out. Click here to read more.
Arizona Game & Fish laws regarding invasive mussels: readme
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources information about invasive mussels: readme
What did Glen Canyon National Recreation Area do for zebra mussel prevention in 2007? Read this report (4.6Mb pdf) for more information.
What are zebra mussels?
Zebra mussels are a particularly damaging aquatic nuisance species. They are dark and light stripped freshwater bivalve mollusks that are native to Eastern Europe and western Asia. Individual mussels grow to a size of about 1.5 inches. They were first discovered in North America in 1988 in Lake St. Clair, one of the water bodies connecting the Great Lakes. It is believed that this invasive species was introduced through ballast water discharges from international shipping. Following their initial invasion, zebra mussels spread quickly across most of the eastern United States and Canada. Zebra mussels are inadvertently transported to new water bodies by recreationally boaters. They can be transport either as adult mussels that are attached to a vessel, or in any part of the vessel that may harbor small amounts of water that can contain larval mussels.
Zebra mussels cause severe economic and ecological damage. Zebra mussels are biofoulers, attaching to most hard surfaces including boats, docks, cables, and water intake structures. They form thick mats that may be up to 18 inches thick. These mats can contain hundreds of thousands of individual mussels. In western Lake Erie, over 700,000 mussels were discovered in one square meter! Ecologically, zebra mussels drastically alter the ecology of infested water bodies and may severalty impact sport fisheries. Zebra mussels are filter feeders and each animal filters approximately one liter of water per day, removing algae and small zooplankton from the water column. When this occurs, the algae and zooplankton are no longer available to support higher levels of the food chain. Often, the sport fishery is compromised.
Tell me more! (Zebra and quagga mussel FAQ)
Prevent the spread of invasive mussels!
If you plan to boat or recreate in infested waters, take care not to spread the mussels. If your vessel has recently been in zebra mussel infested waters, as identified in park information materials, you are required to get an inspection of your vessel. This inspection may require your boat be decontaminated using a special high temperature wash. Specialized boat washes are provided at Wahweap, Bullfrog, and Halls Crossing by ARAMARK and at Antelope Point by Antelope Point Holdings, LLC from 7am - 7pm. This service is free of charge at Wahweap, Bullfrog, and Halls Crossing.
All boaters should get in the good habit of cleaning their boat thoroughly every time they leave any body of water.
When taking boats and equipment out of the water at any lake:
Before driving away:
When you return home:
Glen Canyon NRA began a proactive zebra mussel prevention program in 1999. Through this program, the park has continually monitored for zebra mussel infestations in Lake Powell. Since 2003, the park has required all vessels identified as having a high risk of transporting zebra mussels to Lake Powell to undergo an abatement procedure. Vessels identified as high risk are required to get a specialized boat and equipment wash before launching in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Glen Canyon NRA continues to be one of the leaders in zebra mussel prevention in the western United States.
Seaplanes and Mussels
Seaplanes can transport Aquatic Hitchhiker species between water bodies on their floats.
The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Superintendent's Compendium and the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, Chapter 1, Part 1 General Provisions, Section 1.5 Closures and Public Use Limits (a)(1) Visiting hours, public use limits, and closures states:
Operators of Float Equipped Airplanes that land on waters within the NRA are required to display on the dashboard of their airplane a "clean boat" inspection certificate issued by NPS personnel or display on the dashboard of their airplane a "clean boat" inspection certificate issued by the self-certification process, which will help you assess the risk your plane presents to Lake Powell.
Contact the park for more information (928-608-6200).
It is important to clean the aircraft and remove all plant fragments or attached mussels before traveling, rather than after landing in new waters. Pilots are advised to include these steps into their flight operations. Additional steps are required when leaving waters infested with mussels, but if the self-certification process indicates your plane does not require decontamination, the following steps will protect your favorite waters. As always, safety is the first priority when using the guidelines.
Aircraft moored for extended periods may have mussels attached and should be cleaned regularly. In remote locations, zebra mussels or other aquatic hitchhiker species may be present. If no cleaning equipment is available, the best cleaning option is to hand-clean the submerged floats with a scrub brush and to physically remove any attached life.
Guidelines to prevent spreading invasives with seaplanes:
Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers: http://www.protectyourwaters.net/prevention/user_seaplane.php
The Seaplane Pilots Association has guidelines with a tiered approach based on risk that include what is necessary when leaving mussel infested waters. Please follow these guidelines and contact the park for information and assistance prior to landing on Lake Powell.
Seaplane Pilot's Association: readme
Did You Know?
Personal watercraft are vessels. In Utah, you must be 18 years old to operate a personal watercraft alone (unless you comply with Utah personal watercraft operator conditions); in Arizona, you must be at least 12.