SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary Herbert is urging Utah boat owners to make sure their boats are decontaminated after leaving Lake Powell to help curb a growing problem with quagga mussels.
In his letter to boat owners across the state, Gov. Herbert says they are on the front lines of Utah’s battle against quagga mussels — a dangerous and invasive species — which he says is threatening the state’s water supply.
Herbert asks that boat owners have their craft professionally decontaminated — if they prefer to do it themselves, he says flush and inspect cooling or water intake systems, and dry boats thoroughly. Pay special attention to those anchors and sea strainers, too.
Boat Owners, quagga mussels are a threat to your boat and our water supplies. Please decontaminate your boat after visiting Lake Powell. Image from National Park Service. pic.twitter.com/RXSmLdSJc8
— Gov. Gary Herbert (@GovHerbert) August 27, 2018
This year alone, state inspectors have found more than 120 boats cluttered with the mussels — 100 of those quarantined. The Division of Wildlife Services says low water this year at Lake Powell is making the quagga situation even worse, and it apparently only takes a few hours in the water to become infested.
The Division of Wildlife Services says around $3 million is put toward its invasive mussel program, $700,000 of which is dedicated specifically for Lake Powell.