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Invasive Mussel Update from Lake Mead National Recreation Area 3-07

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Date: January 22, 2007
Contact: NPS, Roxanne Dey, 702.293.8947
Contact: BOR, Bob Walsh, 702.293.8421
Contact: NDOW, Doug Nielsen, 702.486.5127, ext. 3500

Infestation Status:

On Saturday, January 20, NPS divers found live zebra-type mussels known as quagga mussels (Dreissena spp.) at the Katherine Landing Marina on docks and hulls of houseboats. The samples collected were positively identified by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientist on Sunday, January 21. Katherine Landing is a developed area on the Arizona side of Lake Mohave just north of Davis Dam in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The scientist also inspected samples of suspected zebra-type mussels collected from a depth of about 110-feet of water at the Kingman Wash area of Lake Mead and confirmed them to be quagga mussels.For up-to-the-minute reports on invasive mussel sightings please go to www.100thMeridian.org.

On January 19, 2007, NPS divers dove the South Cove launch ramp on the Arizona side of Lake Mead and did not find adult mussels in the developed area.

On January 18, 2007, NPS divers dove Overton Beach and Echo Bay marinas on the Nevada side of Lake Mead and did not find adult mussels in the developed area.

On January 16, 2007, concession employees at Callville Bay Marina found suspected invasive mussels on four houseboats that had been taken out of the water for routine maintenance and these were confirmed by scientists to be quagga mussels. Callville Bay is on the Nevada side of Lake Mead.

All samples collected to date have been identified as the quagga species of mussels commonly referred to as zebra mussels. See attached pdf map.

The week of January 8, divers from the NPS, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inspected and found no evidence of adult invasive mussels, at the following locations:

  • Temple Bar marina facilities (Arizona side of Lake Mead)
  • Cottonwood Cove marina facilities (Nevada side of Lake Mohave)
  • Willow Beach marina facilities (Arizona side of Lake Mohave)
  • Willow Beach Fish Hatchery (operated by US Fish and Wildlife Service)

The National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and the California Department of Fish and Game are continuing to work together and share resources and expertise to assess the immediate level of infestation, develop an action plan to stop the spread to other waterways, and long-term planning and monitoring strategies.

"Our immediate concern is to ensure we are doing everything we can to stop the spread of invasive mussels from infested waters along the Colorado River to other bodies of water. Many boaters enjoy recreating on all the reservoirs in the Lower Colorado River System. We need to educate our visitors on the important role they have in stopping the spread to other bodies of water," said Lake Mead National Recreation Area Superintendent Bill Dickinson.

Effective ways boaters (including personal watercraft, canoe, and kayak users) and fisherman can ensure that their boats, vehicles, trailers and other equipment do not become the means of infecting other waters are listed below.

When taking your equipment out of the water:

  • Drain the water from your motor, live well, and bilge on land before leaving the immediate area of the lake.
  • Completely inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

Before driving out of the local community:

  • Flush the motor and bilges with hot, soapy water or a 5% solution of household bleach.
  • Wash the hull, equipment, bilge and any other exposed surface with hot, soapy water or use a 5% solution of household bleach.
  • Clean and wash your trailer, truck or any other equipment that comes in contact with lake water. Mussels can live in small pockets anywhere water collects.

When you return home:

  • Air-dry the boat and other equipment for at least five days before launching in any other waterway.
  • Do not reuse bait once it has been exposed to infested waters and allow all fishing tackle to air dry for 5 days before fishing in other lakes and streams.

Additional information can be found at the www.protectyourwaters.net and www.100thmeridian.org.

Did You Know?

Poppies in the Nellis Wash Wilderness

"Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them." -- John Updike