Fight continues against zebra, quagga mussels

Clean, drain, dry.

Following those three tips may save you and thousands of other boaters untold headaches at Lake Powell and other Western waters.

Those are the key rules issued to boaters by state and federal agencies fighting the westward spread of zebra and quagga mussels.

Making sure your boat is clean of mussels, draining motors and bilges when leaving a lake, and making sure your boat is dry prior to entering another body of water are steps every boater can take to slow the spread of invasive species.

So far, only an immense screening effort by authorities and boaters has spared Lake Powell the enormous problems that certainly will arise should those aquatic stowaways reach the lake.

Some of the boat ramps at Lake Powell are closed and may remain closed for a while in an effort to funnel all incoming boats to the ramps still open.

During March, all boats must be launched at Bullfrog or the Wahweap main ramp between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., say officials at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

No night launching will occur as ramps will be closed after dark.

Also, boaters should remember that the requirements begun last fall will continue this year.

That includes no more self-certification of watercraft at Wahweap or Bullfrog marinas. Instead, screening for the invasive mussels by trained personnel will be mandatory for all vessels.

Those trained inspectors will be on-site from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with launching prohibited outside those hours.

Trying to skip an inspection will ruin your vacation and hurt your wallet, since violators face a mandatory court appearance, up to 6 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.


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