HEBER CITY, Utah — The battle against the STD of the sea (Quagga mussel) ends for one Utah reservoir.
For the first time in three years the Deer Creek Reservoir is no longer suspected of containing the Quagga mussel, lifting the requirement that patrons drain water from their boats and complete an inspection prior to leaving, according to the Division of Wildlife Resources.
As of now Utah waters are clear of the mussel, with the exception of Lake Powell, DWR said.
In order to keep the waters clear of the invasive species, boaters could be asked questions about where they have been on the water.
“If they determine your boat is a high risk boat because you last used it at a place like Lake Powell or another infested water, they will make you professionally decontaminate your boat with hot water,” said Nathan Owens of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
While Quagga are cleared from the majority of Utah waters, Nathan Owens, aquatic invasive species coordinator for DWR warns not to let your guard down.
I strongly encourage you to put your boat through that process, no matter where you’ve been boating. You never know where mussels, or any other unwanted creature, will turn up next. Cleaning, draining and drying your boat—after every boating trip—will help ensure you’re not transporting mussels from one water body to another,” Owens said.
According to DWR, Quagga mussels can cause a lot of trouble for Utah – they can clog water lines, remove plankton from the water endangering fish populations and could get into your boat’s engine cooling system.