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NPS wants to keep Lake Roosevelt mussel-free

 


Boaters in Lake Roosevelt will be asked to “self certify” that their boats aren’t carrying invasive species, the NPS announced Tuesday.

In an ongoing effort to prevent aquatic invasive species, the National Park Service (NPS) at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is implementing a mussel-free self-certification program.

The NPS is requesting operators certify their boat or personal watercraft free of aquatic invasive species, especially quagga/zebra mussels, prior to launching, and for boaters who have recently boated in infested waters, that will take some doing and some time.

“Boats that have been in infested waters should be drained of all water, washed thoroughly with hot water and dried for at least seven days before entering Lake Roosevelt,” the NPS said. “It is important to remove all dirt, plants and water from boats and trailers prior to launching every time.”

Self-certification forms are available at all Lake Roosevelt NRA launch ramps and on the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/laro.

Aquatic invasive species are easily carried between bodies of water by boats and trailers. Currently, the Columbia Basin in Washington, Oregon and Idaho is free of invasive mussels.

Quagga and zebra mussels are exotic mussels native to Ukraine and Russia. Quagga/zebra mussels quickly cover most hard surfaces and can clog boat motor intake systems, water intake structures, agricultural irrigation systems and hydroelectric power plant operations.

“Such small mussels can survive out of the water for up to two weeks and the microscopic larvae can be transported in bilges, ballast water, live wells or other equipment that holds water,” the NPS release states. “Researchers within the Pacific Northwest Economic Region estimate that the economic impact of a mussel infestation would cost the Pacific Northwest $500 million annually.”2

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