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A vessel with adult mussels attached was intercepted Wednesday at the Bullfrog Marina inspection station at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The vessel was thoroughly decontaminated by National Park Service staff and will be held in quarantine until the boat no longer poses a threat to Lake Powell or any other water body. The vessel had been moored on Lake Mead-where mussels are known to exist-before being hauled to Bullfrog. This is the first vessel with mussels intercepted prior to launching on Lake Powell this year.
Invasive quagga and zebra mussels are a major threat to our quality of life. They are small, clam-like creatures that reproduce rapidly and deplete food in the water. As such, they jeopardize fish populations, damage power and water infrastructures, and decrease the health of ecosystems.
As the boating season begins, visitors are reminded to prevent the spread of mussels and other aquatic invasive species by always cleaning, draining, and drying their vessels, anchors, and other equipment each time they are used. Sixteen boats harboring mussels were intercepted prior to launching on Lake Powell last year. Coming to Lake Powell with vessels and equipment properly prepared to launch will ensure every boater's ability to get on the water more quickly. While a typical decontamination takes less than ten minutes and is offered at no cost to Glen Canyon visitors, when mussels are found, the vessel will be decontaminated and held in quarantine for up to a 30-day drying period to make sure any hidden mussels have not survived.