Boaters Can Help Fight the Spread of Invasive Mussels Over Labor Day Weekend
California agencies tackling the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels are reminding boaters to be careful over Labor Day weekend.
Quagga and zebra mussels are invasive freshwater mussels native to Europe and Asia. They multiply rapidly, encrust boats and infrastructure, alter water quality and the aquatic food web, and ultimately impact native fish and sport fishing communities. These mussels are spread from one body of water to another by attaching themselves to boats, equipment and almost anything that has been in an infested body of water.
To prevent the spread of these mussels and other aquatic invasive species, people launching boats at any body of water are subject to boat inspections and are strongly encouraged to clean, drain and dry their motorized boats. and non-motorized, including personal watercraft, and any equipment that comes into contact with water before and after use.
“Adult quagga mussels were discovered in Lake Castaic in Los Angeles County in August 2021. This detection is a reminder of how important it is to clean, empty and dry your boat and equipment after each use to avoid spread of invasive species and help conserve California. irreplaceable plant, fish and wildlife resources, ”said Martha Volkoff, invasive species program manager at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
Take the following steps before you enter a body of water and before leaving a body of water to prevent the spread of invasive mussels, improve the efficiency of your inspection experience, and protect California’s waterways:
- Clean – inspect exposed surfaces and remove all plants and organisms
- Drain – all water, including water in lower outboard units, livewells and bait buckets, and
- Dry – allow the watercraft to dry completely between launches. Boats should be kept dry for at least five days in hot weather and up to 30 days in cool weather.
CDFW has developed a short video demonstrating the ease of implementing the clean, drain and dry prevention method. Additional information is available on the Recreational Boating and Waterways Division website.
Ken Paglia, CDFW Communications, (916) 825-7120