Mussel Monitoring

View from the water of a large group of boats near a sandy beach. The beach is full of campers, RVs, and tents.

NPS Photo


Lake Powell is intensively monitored for mussels by the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Hundreds of water samples are taken from the lake and analyzed using scientifically proven methods each year.

Two people stare at a computer screen hooked up to a microscope.
Analyzing FlowCAM images.

NPS Photo

The Glen Canyon Wahweap Water Laboratory uses four early detection methods, including microscopic analysis, automated particle analysis (FlowCAM), Polymerase Chain Reaction (the DNA test), and the deployment of artificial substrates to detect early colonization. Sampling occurs lake-wide at routine sites like marinas and dams.

Jar filled with water and mussels.
Quagga mussels collected off a boat on Lake Powell.

NPS Photo

The Glen Canyon water lab continues to analyze water samples taken from Lake Powell to determine the range and extent of mussel colonization in the lake. Measurements are taken from mussels found on vessels, structures, and canyon walls to reconstruct population dynamics. This data makes up one of the first studies of an early mussel infestation in a water body the size of Lake Powell.

Last updated: March 21, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1507
Page, AZ 86040


(928) 608-6200
Receptionist available at Glen Canyon Headquarters from 7 am to 4 pm MST, Monday through Friday. The phone is not monitored when the building is closed.

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