UTAH– The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reminds boaters to take precautions this Memorial Day to help keep Utah waterways free of the Quagga mussel, also known as the “STD of the Sea.”
With the exception of Lake Powell, all of Utah’s waterways have been cleared of the invasive mussels.
The mussels can plug even large water lines (which can cost millions to remove and jack up your utility bill). They also remove plankton from the water that support the native fish species.
But it’s not just an issue for the body of water, UDWR says they can actually get into your boat’s engine cooling system, ultimately fouling the system and damaging the engine. The mussels also die in large quantity leaving sharp shells along the beaches.
To help prevent the spread, UDWR recommends, cleaning, draining and drying your boat after every single boating trip; they say this will help clear any mussels that may have attached themselves to your boat.
If you’re heading to Lake Powell this Memorial Day UDWR said, be patient. Right now Utah State Park technicians will be checking each boat to ensure boats have been properly decontaminated (creating some lengthy lines).
St. George News reports that after boating at Lake Powell, boaters must remove drain plugs from boats and leave them out until reaching your destination.
If you are transporting any type of boat of float tube this summer, UDWR said you are required to stop at one of three mandatory quagga mussel inspection stations. If you don’t, you could be cited.
For a list of inspection station locations click, HERE.