Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Press Release
Invasive mussels are a major threat to Utah’s drinking water supply and the state’s recreational waters. An infestation of invasive mussels can destroy fisheries, pollute shorelines and beaches, damage boats and equipment and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Not allowing mussels to establish themselves is the key to preventing these problems. Once mussels infest a body of water, it’s too late. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is asking for the public’s help to prevent the spread of the ‘STD of the Sea’ by cleaning, draining and drying their boats and recreational watercraft after every use.
Mussels form dense, destructive colonies that encrust almost any underwater surface. Newly hatched mussels called veligers are microscopic. Veligers can easily be transferred to other waters without boat owners even knowing.
Hundreds of lakes throughout the United States are already infested by these microscopic organisms. Contaminated lakes near Utah include Lake Powell, Lake Mead and Lake Havasu.
Each time a boat visits a Utah lake, they will be asked to complete a decontamination certification form. A free online course is also offered online at stdofthesea.com. By successfully completing the online course, boaters can become certified for an entire year.
It only takes a few minutes to protect Utah’s waters. For more information about invasive mussels, and how to prevent spreading them, visit stdofthesea.com.