Quagga mussels are an invasive species infesting multiple lakes in the Southwest. They are native to seas in Eastern Europe and were first discovered in the United States in the Great Lakes Region in the 1980s. Quaggas multiple rapidly, are easy to spread, and cause harm to the environment, equipment, and infrastructure as they encrust and clog boat engines, shorelines, and anywhere else conducive to their growth.
As of 2016, thousands of adult quagga mussels have been found in Lake Powell, attached to canyon walls, the Glen Canyon Dam, boats, and other underwater structures, especially in the southern portions of the lake. Adult mussel populations are expected to expand and increase as the season progresses and over the next few years.
Your Boater Responsibilities
It is crucial to keep the mussels from moving from Lake Powell to other lakes and rivers. Boaters can help by making sure your vessels and equipment are not contributing to the problem. Cooperate with prevention and containment efforts at Lake Powell and all your favorite waters to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species like mussels.
Launching at Lake Powell
Ensure your watercraft and equipment arrive clean, drained, and free of aquatic hitchhikers. Remember to put your plugs back in before launching.
Exiting Lake Powell
Clean. Drain. Dry.
Follow the Clean. Drain. Dry. procedure for every body of water, every time.
It's Not Just for Boaters
Those fishing in the Lees Ferry area will find wader cleaning stations at multiple locations, available to help clean, drain, dry boots and equipment on site. There are aquatic invasive species besides quagga mussels found at Lees Ferry.
Utah and Arizona state laws require you to CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY your boat when leaving Lake Powell using self-decontamination procedures. Additional steps are required if you launch on other waters without a significant drying period or if you are on Lake Powell for more than 5 days.
No matter where you are headed next, it is illegal to transport aquatic invasive species.
Mussel Monitoring at Lake Powell
Glen Canyon maintains an active monitoring program to detect the presence and spread of aquatic invasive species in Lake Powell and the Colo
History of Mussels at Glen Canyon
Glen Canyon was at the forefront of the movement to detect and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species since the threat became known.
Quagga Mussel Containment Program
Glen Canyon's extended response strategy to minimize the spread of invasive mussels from Lake Powell and to manage park operations
Last updated: March 26, 2019