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Invasive mussels found in Lake Powell, officials say

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Posted at 3:19 PM, Feb 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-25 17:19:48-05

PAGE, Ariz. — Invasive mussels were discovered in Lake Powell by the National Park Service and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources after water levels dropped, exposing shorelines previously under water, officials said Tuesday.

Thousands of adult quagga mussels were found in various locations, such as canyon walls, Glen Canyon Dam, boats and other underwater structures, according to a release from the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.

“Park staff, partners, and the public have worked hard to keep Lake Powell mussel free for the last ten years,” said Superintendent Todd Brindle. “It’s very disappointing that mussels are in the lake, but most visitors will not notice them. The important thing now is to keep them from being transported to other lakes and rivers.”

When leaving Lake Powell, all watercraft are required by Utah and Arizona state law to be decontaminated before being moved to another body of water, the release stated. The continued mussel education and prevention activities will minimize the chances of mussels colonizing in other area lakes and prevent the introduction of other aquatic invasive species.

The release indicated that a planning effort is currently underway to develop a Quagga/Zebra Mussel Management Plan to help the National Park Service decide what tools are appropriate to support the ongoing management of invasive mussels in Glen Canyon.

The QZMP will consider changes to existing prevention and monitoring and will include analysis of potential control, containment and other park management actions.

Additional information on the plan and opportunity to comment on the matter can be found at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/gzmp.

To help stop the spread of mussels:

-Clean and drain your boat before leaving the vicinity of the lake

-Dry your boat the required amount of time before moving to another body of water

-Your boat can be professionally decontaminated