Invasive Mussels Found in Lake Powell - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-11-2007   #1
 
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Invasive Mussels Found in Lake Powell

Hi Folks.

In an unwelcome, but not totally unexpected, development, invasive mussels have been found in Lake Powell in the vicinity of Glen Canyon Dam. While the long-term impact of this on Grand Canyon is unknown, it certainly is cause for concern.

***

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Arizona Fish and Game Department
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

News Release
August 9, 2007 For Immediate Release

Contacts:
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area – Kevin Schneider, 928-608-6208
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources – Larry Dalton, 801-652-2465
Arizona Game and Fish Department – Marc Dahlberg, 602-789-3260
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Tina Proctor, 303-236-4515

Invasive Mussels Detected in Lake Powell

Boaters Asked to Inspect their Vessels for Mussels

Page, Ariz. – New test results indicate the presence of an extremely small number of individual, larval quagga or zebra mussels in Lake Powell. Two cooperative research and monitoring efforts, conducted on July 19 and 30 by the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, detected three individual mussel larvae at the Wawheap Marina and near the Glen Canyon Dam. Dr. David Britton, an expert on quagga and zebra mussels for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said, “While the test results indicate the presence of individual larval quagga or zebra mussels in Lake Powell, much uncertainty remains. We do not know at this point i an established population is present. We also do not know for certain how quagga or zebra mussels will affect Lake Powell.”

Five water samples were collected from Lake Powell and analyzed by a Bureau of Reclamation laboratory in Denver (see table below). The samples were analyzed using two different methods – a microscopic technique and DNA fingerprint technology. Three of these samples did not indicate the presence of any quagga or zebra mussels. Two of the samples, collected at the Wahweap Marina and near the Glen Canyon Dam, indicated the presence of three individual larval mussels when tested with the microscopic method and DNA fingerprint technology. The testing methods cannot distinguish whether or not these are quagga mussels or zebra mussels, which are closely related.

“Additional samples have been collected from Lake Powell and are being analyzed for quagga and zebra mussels. In the coming weeks, more samples will be collected from various locations around the lake to determine if mussels are present in other areas,” said Kitty Rberts, superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
The National Park Service, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been closely working with each other to monitor the spread of quagga mussels since they were found in Lake Mead in January 2007.

The National Park Service’s existing quagga and zebra mussel prevention program will remain in place. Boats that have been in water bodies with known quagga or zebra mussel infestations in the last 30 days will continue to be required to be decontaminated before entering Lake Powell. High pressure, hot water decontamination stations are available at all marinas within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, including Wahweap, Antelope Point, Bullfrog, and Halls Crossing marinas.

As a preventative measure, the National Park Service will also begin requiring any boats that are slipped or moored in Lake Powell to receive a decontamination wash before they exit the park if they are being moved to a non-infested lake. In addition, people with boats in the marinas at Lake Powell are strongly encouraged to conduct a thorough inspection of their boat to look for quagga or zebra mussels which may be attached. To prevent quagga mussels or any other aquatic nuisance species from being spread to other lakes, all visitors leaving Lake Powell or any other body of water should thoroughly wash their boats and trailers after they leave the lake. Bilges, wet wells, motors, and any other part of the boat that could hold water must be completely drained. Any other gear that has come into contact with the water – such as waders or fishing equipment – should also be washed. The boat and all gear should be allowed to thoroughly dry in thr sun for at least five days before being used in another water body.

Detailed descriptions about how to clean your boat and equipment are available online at: http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/quagga/...inspection.pdf. Further information about quagga and zebra mussels and how to prevent their spread is available online at 100th Meridian Initiative, www.protect yourwaters.net, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service).



FWIW.

Rich Phillips
VP, GCPBA

Join Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association at Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association.
click on "Join", and support active, ongoing private boater
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Old 08-11-2007   #2
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Zebra Mussels do suck. They invaded the fingerlakes in New york back in the late 80's. They do make the water nice and clear, as they eat lots of algae, but they clog up water intakes and leave there shells behind like a collection of razor blades. If these things end up in high numbers on beaches, I bet we can expect a lot of damaged rubber.
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Old 08-11-2007   #3
 
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Hi Dave,

You are very much on target with the sharp edge thing. I have an actual quagga mussel here on my desk right now from a lake in Wisconsin, and it is small and very sharp-edged.

While no-one knows if and how they will infest the river in the Grand Canyon, should the rocks there get coated the way they were in the lake I saw, we all better be taking lots of patch material when we go down the Grand.

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips
VP, GCBPA
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Old 08-11-2007   #4
KDT
 
Telluride, Colorado
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Send a message via AIM to acetomato
WARNING: Invasive Muscles Found in Ron Burgundy's Drytop!

Gotta give 'em two tickets to the gun show. Oh yeeaah!

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Sorry. It couldn't be avoided.
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Old 08-11-2007   #5
 
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Are the muscles in any other white water river? How much of a problem is it there?
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Old 08-11-2007   #6
 
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Hi Cstork,

Good question. Most of the research and descriptive material seems to deal with lakes and slower-moving streams in the Midwest.

However, the NPS has put out some information and management guidance in a document called, "Quagga/Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention and Response Planning Guide" in May, 2007. It can be found at:


http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/quagga/QuaggaPlanningGuide_ext.pdf

In one relevant part, it says, "If zebra or quagga mussels were to infest additional western lakes, reservoirs, or rivers, they could:

disrupt aquatic ecosystems and native species
encrust submerged cultural resources
impact recreational activities, including sport fishing
foul boats, boat engines, docks, ramps and other marine facilities
clog raw water intake pipes, increasing maintenance costs
litter beaches with sharp shells that can smell as the mussels decompose."

In another section, it says, "The probability that quagga mussels will become established in a river or stream reach depends upon suspended inorganic sediment, the existence of low velocity habitats and whether or not there is an upstream lake or reservoir. Lack of low velocity habitat and high sediment loads reduce the likelihood the quagga mussels will become established or persist in a river reach. Upstream reservoirs or lakes may increase the probability that mussels will be introduced to the receiving stream and can serve as a continual source of veliger larvae that may maintain populations that would otherwise not be viable. In general, the risk of infestation is lower in a river or stream than in a lake or reservoir. However, zebra mussels have demonstrated the capability to proliferate in the large slow flowing rivers of the Midwest. It is possible that quagga mussels may be able persist in large rivers under similar conditions."

Looks like we're in for an interesting time with this one.

Rich Phillips
VP, GCPBA

Join Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association at http://www.gcpba.org
Click on "Join", and support active, ongoing private boater
representation on Grand Canyon issues. And follow GC issues on
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gcpba/messages


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Old 08-11-2007   #7
 
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learn more

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Old 08-12-2007   #8
 
Golden, Colorado
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shopping cart left in zebra mussel infested water for a few months.
zebra mussels are a HUGE pain in the ass here on the east coast. Lakes get clogged with them, and they clog up drain pipes super fast. they are ussually not in faster streams.
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Old 08-12-2007   #9
 
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Yea, this sucks. But, lets not get carried away.

I think kayakers/rafters are not very likely to spread this for a variety of reasons. Give the hard time to boaters that keep their power boats/house boats in the water for weeks and then move them to another reservoir.
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Old 08-12-2007   #10
 
Golden, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basil View Post
Yea, this sucks. But, lets not get carried away.

I think kayakers/rafters are not very likely to spread this for a variety of reasons. Give the hard time to boaters that keep their power boats/house boats in the water for weeks and then move them to another reservoir.

they key to that is that they dont take care of their boats when moving them. The Bilges must be emptied and allowed to dry for at least 48 hours, and a simple visual inspection before putting in at another body of water. Its so simple, yet so many people dont do it.
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