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Staff at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) today announced a vessel with live quagga mussels attached was prevented from launching at Lake Powell on Wednesday. The vessel, which was to be launched at Wahweap and taken to a slip at Bullfrog Marina, was determined to have live mussels during a required pre-launch inspection by National Park Service (NPS) and marina officials. All vessels coming to Lake Powell that need a slip or a buoy are required to be inspected for any aquatic invasive species, including quagga mussels. Utah Department of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) biologist Wayne Gustaveson confirmed the inspectors’ finding of live mussels attached to the boat.
As soon as the mussels were identified, the boat was decontaminated with a high pressure scalding wash. Following the decontamination procedure, the boat was placed in quarantine where it will remain for at least five days. The vessel will not be launched until it has been inspected again by an NPS or UDWR biologist.
"These incidents can be scary," said Superintendent Stan Austin, "but it really shows our preventative plan works. We have planned ahead and are ready for these kinds of threats. We rely on several layers of protection to keep our waters mussel free. This particular aspect of the program worked exactly as it was supposed to."
The boat had come from Lake Pleasant and had only been out of the water for three days.