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The National Park Service and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) have recently detected additional adult quagga mussels in Lake Powell. Since this time last year, the water levels at Lake Powell have dropped which has exposed shorelines that were previously underwater.
Thousands of adult quagga mussels have been found in various locations, such as canyon walls, Glen Canyon Dam, boats, and other underwater structures. The majority of mussels found are isolated adults, with additional groupings of small clusters. One adult mussel was found on the south canyon wall of Bullfrog Bay.
Boat inspections and decontamination of high risk boats are still required for incoming vessels at Glen Canyon. Continued mussel education and prevention activities, including boat inspections, will minimize the chances that mussels will colonize other areas of the lake. It may also prevent the introduction of other aquatic invasive species.
It is crucial to keep the mussels from moving from Lake Powell to other lakes and rivers. When leaving Lake Powell, all watercraft are required by Utah and Arizona state law to be decontaminated (Clean, Drain, and Dry) before being moved to another water body. Regulations vary depending on the state, so all boaters should review the regulations of any states they will enter with their watercraft after being at Lake Powell, including Arizona and Utah.
To help stop the spread of mussels:
- You must clean and drain your boat before you leave the vicinity of the lake.
- You must dry your boat the required amount of time before moving it to another body of water.
- OR you can have your boat professionally decontaminated.
"Park staff, partners, and the public have worked hard to keep Lake Powell mussel free for the last ten years," said Superintendent Todd Brindle. "It's very disappointing that mussels are in the lake, but most visitors will not notice them. The important thing now is to keep them from being transported to other lakes and rivers."
A planning effort is currently underway to develop a Quagga/Zebra Mussel Management Plan (QZMP) to help the National Park Service decide what tools are appropriate to support the ongoing management of invasive mussels in Glen Canyon now that quagga mussels are present in Lake Powell. The QZMP will consider changes to the existing prevention and monitoring efforts, and will include analysis of potential control, containment, and other park management actions. Additional information on the plan as well as the opportunity to comment or make suggestions are provided at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/