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More Quagga Mussels Found in Lake Powell

February 25
23:46 2014

There’s no escaping the invasion of the quagga mussels, as more of the aquatic intruders have recently been found in Lake Powell by the National Park Service.

Quagga MusselsWater levels at Lake Powell have dropped over the past year, exposing shorelines that were previously underwater. As a result, thousands of adult quagga mussels have been found in canyon walls, Glen Canyon Dam, boats, and other underwater structures. Most of the mussels found are isolated adults. Additional groupings of small clusters have also been discovered. One adult mussel was found on the south canyon wall of Bullfrog Bay.

Park staff, partners, and the public have worked hard to keep Lake Powell mussel free for the last ten years. It’s very disappointing that mussels are in the lake, but most visitors will not notice them. The important thing now is to keep them from being transported to other lakes and rivers.”–Superintendent Todd Brindle, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Invading American Lakes for Over 30 years

Quagga mussels invaded the Great Lakes in the 1980s. Since then, they’ve spread across the country. The creatures are considered an invasive species, causing extensive, and expensive, damage by coating pipes, canals, docks, dams and other underwater structures.

By hitchhiking on boat hulls, quagga mussels easily travel from one lake to another. And then they make more.

Stop the Spread of Mussels

To minimize mussel colonization in other parts of Lake Powell, boats coming into Glen Canyon Recreation Area still need to be inspected and decontaminated . This also prevents the introduction of other aquatic invasive species.

It’s extremely important to prevent mussels from moving from Lake Powell to other lakes and rivers. When leaving Lake Powell, all watercraft are required by Utah and Arizona state law to be decontaminated. That means clean, drain and dry.

To help stop the spread of mussels:

  • Clean and drain your boat before you leave the lake.
  •   Dry your boat before moving it to another body of water.


  • Have your boat professionally decontaminated.

Submit Suggestions to Stop the Mussels

The National Park Service is planning a Quagga/Zebra Mussel Management Plan (QZMP) for ongoing management of the invasive mussels in Glen Canyon Recreation Area. More information about the plan and the opportunity to comment or make suggestions can be found here.

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