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Invasive mussel species is knocking at our door

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Waterbaby

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https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/wes...cle_9e5905b6-2439-11e8-8aa7-10604b9ffe60.html

Mar 10, 2018
Invasive mussel species is knocking at our door
  • GARY HARMON


Even after dousing with 140-degree water, followed by high-pressure blasts of the same hot water, quagga mussels clung stubbornly to the propellers of a cabin cruiser that until recently was moored in Lake Powell.

An invasive-species specialist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Robert Walters, did the dirty work Friday of scouring mussels from the props, intakes, hull and other parts of the boat.

"These props would not ever turn, they're so jammed up with mussels," Walters said.

Colorado has no known quagga infestation and Walters' labors were intended to prevent one, while demonstrating how the mussels can clog up a motor, or a waterway, and how difficult they can be to remove.

"That's what makes them of concern," CPW spokesman Mike Porras said as Walters sprayed sheet after sheet of hot, high-pressure water, on the mussels-bound motor, peeling them off layer by layer. "They're extremely hardy."

The boat's owner surrendered the cruiser on Thursday to CPW officials after Utah officials reported that it was being hauled to Grand Junction from Bullfrog, Utah.

No charges were immediately filed, but an investigation is continuing. Colorado law prohibits the importation of invasive species such as the mussels.

Authorities took the boat to Highline Lake, where there are decontamination facilities.

Colorado law requires that watercraft be clear of invasive species, such as the mussels, before they can ply state waters, such as those of Highline and other state parks.

The mussels are the reason that such craft are prohibited at Harvey Gap State Park, where the agency doesn't have the funding to inspect and remove them.

The threat of an infestation — for which there is no known method of reversal — is what drives the state to keep a high priority on inspections, Porras said.

Quagga mussels can survive for 30 days outside of water and their larval forms, veligers, can survive in small amounts of water.

That why the agency urges watercraft owners to clean, drain and dry their boats, as well as other materials, such as ropes, buoys and anchors.

"Clean, drain and dry" should be the mantra of water users, Porras said.

Simply blasting them with pressurized water will do little and could expand their foothold without the killing high temperature — at least 140 degrees, Porras said.

The infested boat treated at Highline Lake is the second so far of this young boating season, Walters said. Another was found earlier in Denver.

Law enforcement officials who spot such infestations can intervene and residents who are aware of it should contact CPW, Porras said.

As the cabin-cruiser infestation demonstrates, quagga mussels could choke off waterworks, hindering irrigation, flood control and electricity-generating equipment, with no simple answer, Porras said.

"Once these get hold of a waterway," he said, "We're done."
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
Mussel madness! Check your boats for invasive species
By Megan McNeil |

Posted: Fri 5:28 PM, Mar 09, 2018 |
Updated: Fri 8:58 PM, Mar 09, 2018

LOMA, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- If you're heading to one of our local lakes this season, be sure to check your boat, especially if it's coming from out of state. You just might be introducing something we don't want in our ecosystem.


Quagga mussels infested a boat coming from Lake Powell in Utah. Colorado Parks and Wildlife intercepted the boat before it entered the waters of Highline Lake, and that's because these mussels can be harmful to the environment around them.

"They attach themselves to any solid surface that they come into contact with," said Robert Walters, Invasive Species Specialist.

As appetizing as they might look, they aren't food, and they aren't native to our area.

"These are not edible, and if they were, they're a little tiny thing, you would be doing a lot more work than the calories you would be intaking," said Walters.

They're a type of filter feeder, which means they eat the plankton and algae floating around in the water. Those ingredients are the basis of the aquatic food chain.

Quagga mussels can attach to any solid surface, disrupting recreation activities and infrastructure in lakes and reservoirs.


"Which would have extreme impact on things like our water, as well as the power generation that is associated with some of these activities," said Walters

CPW has to hit the mussels with 140-degree water first to kill them. Then to remove the mussels, they blast a high-pressure spray at 3,000 PSI at the same temperature.

Tens of thousands of them fell off the boat stopped by CPW on Friday.

"The concentration on this one it worse than I've ever seen in the past," said Walters.

Last year, CPW said they disinfected 26 boats with mussels. So far in 2018, they said this is their second interception and clearing of these types of mussels.

They said for boaters to make sure their equipment is clean, drained and dry before recreating in area lakes and waterways.
 

Lost Anchor

Active Member
He ran from Lake Powell where they charge a couple hundred bucks an hour to remove them to Colorado where it's done for free. He will maybe get a $50 fine.
 

Reed

Well-Known Member
That is absolutely crazy that someone would even attempt to move a vessel an inch that is that infected.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
He ran from Lake Powell where they charge a couple hundred bucks an hour to remove them to Colorado where it's done for free. He will maybe get a $50 fine.

The article said he "surrendered" his boat - sounds like it has been impounded. My $ is on it costing him a lot more than $50 to get it back, if he gets it back.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
Those photos are worse than I imagined. What side of Powell did the boat come from? What is the story/history of the boat?

Our houseboat has been sitting in the slip, not moved since September/October. The last time I left the boat, I didn't see any attached to the outdrives or hull (although I have no doubt that they are there).

How did that boat get out of Powell in that condition? Are they no longer doing inspections when leaving the lake?

What is the current protocol when leaving the lake if the inspectors find mussels attached? Is it simply to clean the boat on the spot and let it go, or is there also some sort of quarantine involved?

I've said before, the most likely way to keep this contained would be decontamination for every boat leaving the lake. The trouble is, as this is a State by State protocol, one state will not necessarily honor what happened by the other state. I used to ask for a decon when leaving Powell, but since Colorado won't accept a Utah decontamination, and has mandatory decontamination prior to launch if you aren't properly sealed, a Utah decontamination would be a waste of time.

If Colorado was smart, they would at least open up an inspection station on I70 entering Colorado .
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
Those photos are worse than I imagined. What side of Powell did the boat come from? What is the story/history of the boat?

Our houseboat has been sitting in the slip, not moved since September/October. The last time I left the boat, I didn't see any attached to the outdrives or hull (although I have no doubt that they are there).

How did that boat get out of Powell in that condition? Are they no longer doing inspections when leaving the lake?

What is the current protocol when leaving the lake if the inspectors find mussels attached? Is it simply to clean the boat on the spot and let it go, or is there also some sort of quarantine involved?
I've said before, the most likely way to keep this contained would be decontamination for every boat leaving the lake. The trouble is, as this is a State by State protocol, one state will not necessarily honor what happened by the other state. I used to ask for a decon when leaving Powell, but since Colorado won't accept a Utah decontamination, and has mandatory decontamination prior to launch if you aren't properly sealed, a Utah decontamination would be a waste of time.

If Colorado was smart, they would at least open up an inspection station on I70 entering Colorado .
There is an inspection station with a decon unit immediately upon entering Utah on I-15 northbound just outside st. George. All vehicles pulling boats must stop. Don't know why there aren't more
 

catchnabuzz

Well-Known Member
Colorado doesn't accept decontamination from Utah. I always tell them my boat has been in Powell when I launch on Colorado or new mexico waters. Sometimes they decon my boat and sometimes not. Guess it just depends on the inspectors mood that given day. It's only a matter of time before Colorado waterways are infested with mussels but they can keep fighting the good fight I suppose
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
State law is to decon any sterndrive, direct/vdrive or boat with ballast/live wells before launching if it is not sealed with paperwork from a Colorado lake.

I've never not been forced to decon when I don't have a seal. Even when the seal was misapplied, and broke off on my way home from the lake.

One of the biggest weaknesses of Colorado's program is the inconsistency.
 

Squirrel

Well-Known Member
I was at Spinney Mtn. Res.in Co. a couple years ago with the Tracker. There was a inspection seal from Co. on it and on the way into Spinney the road was wet (from rain) and some road dirt/mud was on the hull. The inspector made me wipe down the hull before he would let me thru the check gate. That was OVERKILL. Sq
 

TR.

Well-Known Member
My boat went down last June with a bad fuel pump. I brought it to Denver and had it fixed, then just winterized and put away. I will get it out this June and despite showing a year off the water the last tag is powell so if I want to use it on a Colorado lake I will have to decon. I am all for keeping invasive species out at all costs however some rules/interpretations are unfounded.

TR
 

dallas massie

Well-Known Member
I just got back from bullfrog last night , when i was about a mile from the hotel a ticaboo a Utah DNR officer pulled me over and checked if i had my ANS cert. . I just made it to the check out at 5:00 . The Utah DNR are trying to stop boats leaving Lake Powell , He said that a lot of boats are leaving with out being checked . I was shocked how bad the mussels where and how they stink. I would support tighter rules for Colorado.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
I just got back from bullfrog last night , when i was about a mile from the hotel a ticaboo a Utah DNR officer pulled me over and checked if i had my ANS cert. . I just made it to the check out at 5:00 . The Utah DNR are trying to stop boats leaving Lake Powell , He said that a lot of boats are leaving with out being checked . I was shocked how bad the mussels where and how they stink. I would support tighter rules for Colorado.
What would have happened had you not had a seal?
 

dallas massie

Well-Known Member
He told me that there is somebody, that he pulled over , that is facing a $6,000 dollar fine . I hope it is this person in the article.
 
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