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Contact: Roxanne Dey, 702.293.8947
Inventory Status as of 2 p.m. January 16:
Live quagga mussels (a nuisance invasive species closely related to, and commonly referred to as zebra mussels) were discovered in Lake Mead on January 6 at the Las Vegas Boat Harbor marina. Additional samples were subsequently found at Lake Mead Marina. The Nevada Department of Wildlife has confirmed the presence of quagga mussels at the Lake Mead Fish Hatchery. For up-to-the-minute reports on invasive mussel sightings please go to www.100thMeridian.org. Quagga mussels, like zebra mussels, are biofoulers that obstruct pipes in municipal and industrial raw-water systems, costing millions of dollars annually to treat. There are also serious impacts on native wildlife and the local ecosystem.
At this time, infestation (at least for the detectable adult population) appears to be limited to the Boulder Basin area of Lake Mead. Divers from the NPS, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have inspected and found no evidence of adult invasive mussels, at the following locations:
- Temple Bar marina facilities (Arizona side of Lake Mead)
- Cottonwood Cove marina facilities (Nevada side of Lake Mohave)
- Willow Beach marina facilities (Arizona side of Lake Mohave)
- Willow Beach Fish Hatchery (operated by US Fish and Wildlife Service)
Additional evaluations are being conducted this week at Callville Bay, Echo Bay, Overton Beach, and Hoover Dam.
The National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and the California Department of Fish and Game are continuing to work together and share resources and expertise to assess the immediate level of infestation, develop an action plan to stop the spread to other waterways, and long-term planning and monitoring strategies.
“Our immediate concern is to ensure we are doing everything we can to stop the spread of invasive mussels from Lake Mead to other bodies of water, including Lake Mohave. Many boaters enjoy both lakes on a regular basis and we need to educate our visitors on the important role they have in stopping the spread to other bodies of water,” said Lake Mead National Recreation Area Superintendent Bill Dickinson.
Effective ways boaters (including personal watercraft, canoe, and kayak users) and fisherman can ensure that their boats, vehicles, trailers and other equipment do not become the means of infecting other waters:
- Drain the water from your motor, live well, and bilge on land before leaving the immediate area of the lake.
- Flush the motor and bilges with hot, soapy water or a 5% solution of household bleach.
- Completely inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.
- Wash the hull, equipment, bilge and any other exposed surface with hot, soapy water or use a 5% solution of household bleach.
- Clean and wash your trailer, truck or any other equipment that comes in contact with lake water. Mussels can live in small pockets anywhere water collects.
- Air-dry the boat and other equipment for at least five days before launching in any other waterway.
- Do not reuse bait once it has been exposed to infested waters.