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Four vessels with adult mussels attached have been intercepted and prevented from launching on Lake Powell so far this season. The intercepted vessels were from various infested waters in Arizona and the Lower Colorado River. Zebra and Quagga mussels are spread when boats from waters with mussels are launched in uninfested waters. National Park Service staff conducts routine inspections of thousands of private boats brought to Lake Powell, identifies the mussel threat represented by these vessels, and keeps Lake Powell safe from infestation.
Zebra and Quagga Mussels have invaded much of the eastern United States and many waters in the western United States. Originally from western Russia, these invasive mussels attach to and foul hard surfaces, clog pipes and disrupt water facilities, undercut the food chain supporting fisheries, and litter beaches and rock walls with sharp smelly shells. When these mussels establish in a water body, eradication is impossible.
All boaters are reminded to clean, drain, and dry their vessels and equipment after every use to prevent spreading mussels or other aquatic invasive species. Free services are available from the National Park Service at each Lake Powell marina area to inspect and remove invasive threats from visitor boats. The Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area inspected 17,000 vessels in 2011 and stopped 16 boats with mussels from launching.