Labor Day Boaters Urged to Remain Watchful for Quagga & Zebra Mussels

Labor Day Boaters Urged to Remain Watchful for Quagga & Zebra Mussels
Labor Day Boaters Urged to Remain Watchful for Quagga & Zebra Mussels

From Press Release

Contact:
Gloria Sandoval, Department of Boating and Waterways, (916) 715-1657 (cell)
Troy Swauger, Department of Fish and Game, (916) 322-8932
Roy Stearns, Department of Parks and Recreation, (916) 654-2270
Pete Weisser, Department of Water Resources, (916) 653-3350
Steve Lyle, Department of Food and Agriculture, (916) 654-0462
Gary Chancey, U.S. Forest Service, Region 5, (707) 562-9004

California’s multi-agency invasive species taskforce cautions watercraft users this Labor Day to guard against spreading the aquatic Quagga and Zebra mussels to uncontaminated waters. Inspections will be conducted at launch sites on most major freshwater lakes. Watercraft and all equipment that comes into contact with the water must be clean, drained and dry.

The taskforce is comprised of California departments of Fish and Game, Water Resources, Parks and Recreation, Boating and Waterways, and Food and Agriculture. Federal partners include U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation.


“The vigilance of boaters and watercraft owners has been the key in prohibiting the widespread invasion of these mussels into California,” said Susan Ellis, Department of Fish and Game's statewide coordinator of invasive species. “Since 2007, no new population of mussels has been discovered that traces back to hitchhiking aboard watercraft or trailers. The state’s responsible boaters are commended for taking the steps necessary to prevent the spread of these mussels, averting the environmental and economic disaster these mussels can cause.”


The taskforce reminds boaters that moving watercraft is the primary threat of transporting the mussels. Anyone who accesses freshwater aquatic environments should take the following steps:


  • Inspect all exposed surfaces-small mussels feel like sandpaper to the touch
  • Wash the hull of each watercraft thoroughly; preferably with high pressure/hot water
  • Remove all plants and animal material
  • Drain all water and dry all areas
  • Drain and dry the lower outboard unit
  • Clean and dry all live-wells
  • Empty and dry any buckets
  • Dispose of all bait in the trash
  • Wait five days and keep watercraft dry between launches into different fresh waters

Boat owners who fail to follow the rules on inspections will be turned away. If the vessel carries the mussels, the owners risk quarantine. In August, a Southern California man was fined $5,000 by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s legal committee after ignoring boating rules designed to stop the spread of Quagga and other aquatic invasive species.

Quagga and Zebra mussels range from microscopic to the size of a fingernail. They are prolific breeders and attach themselves to hard and soft surfaces, such as boats and aquatic plants. They adversely affect boaters by:

  • Ruining engines by blocking the cooling system-causing the engine to overheat
  • Increasing drag across the bottom of the vessel, reducing speed and wasting fuel
  • Clogging and jamming a boat’s steering equipment
  • Requiring time and money for scraping and repainting of boat bottoms
  • And colonizing all underwater substrates such as boat ramps, docks, lines and other underwater surfaces requiring constant cleaning

The establishment of an invasive mussel population wreaks havoc with the environment, disrupting the natural food chain and releasing toxins that affect other species. Spread of the Quagga could result in millions of dollars in damage to water transport facilities.


These invasive mollusks were first detected in California in January 2007, in Lake Havasu on the Colorado River. Quagga mussels were discovered a few months later in water delivered by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the San Diego County Water Authority. Both systems draw from the Colorado River.

Thus far, the mussels have not been found in California's State Water Project (SWP), which draws from northern California watersheds. Environmental scientists are monitoring the system, the largest water and power system in the United States. The main risk of mussel introduction in the SWP is from boats carried by trailers.

For more information on the Quagga mussel response, visit the DFG webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/quaggamussel.


Recommended for You

The Pennsylvania man's trophy fish was more than two pounds heavier than the previous record. Records

No Kidding: Angler Smashes Record for Lake Trout

Scott Bernarde - May 21, 2019

The Pennsylvania man's trophy fish was more than two pounds heavier than the previous record.

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on. Bass

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

G&F Online Staff - May 20, 2019

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere. Records

State Records Reported in Maryland, Michigan

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

MLF Pros: What

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Lock cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

Multiple time FLW Costa winner Jessi Mizell is no stranger to catching big Florida bass on a popping frog. As he tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, with the new 13 Fishing Omen Black baitcasting rod, the job just got easier.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

 A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest.

Although the art Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

 Veteran bass anglers often dismiss urban fishing opportunities as Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson - February 13, 2018

Veteran bass anglers often dismiss urban fishing opportunities as "kid's fishing ponds," but...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×