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Discovery Of Quagga Mussels At Lake Powell Will Affect Boaters, Anglers

With the recent discovery of quagga mussels in Lake Powell, boaters leaving the northeastern Arizona lake will be required by law to pull their boat plug and decontaminate and dry their watercraft before leaving the vicinity of the lake to help prevent the spread of these invasive mussels.

The requirements, which took effect July 1, are now the same as for other Arizona waters known to contain quagga mussels. These waters are listed in the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Director's Orders and include Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Havasu and all lower Colorado River waters to the international border with Mexico. The requirements also already applied to Lake Pleasant.

Quagga mussels were first detected in Arizona at Lake Mead in 2007. These invasive mussels were subsequently listed in the AIS Director's Orders in 2010 that provided for certain watercraft and equipment decontamination protocols.

Quagga mussels colonize rapidly on hard surfaces and can ruin boat motors and clog water intake structures, such as pipes and screens, thereby impacting pumping capabilities for power and water treatment plants.

In addition to the day-use decontamination requirements, boats that have been in quagga-infested waters for more than five days must, upon leaving the water, be kept out of the water and completely dry for a period of seven to 18 days before their next use.

For more information on quagga mussels, including the Director's Orders lists of aquatic invasive species, waters, and decontamination protocols, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/ais.


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