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Feb 21st
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Home National & State Parks Other NPs Lake Powell Declared Free Of Zebra, Quagga Mussels

Lake Powell Declared Free Of Zebra, Quagga Mussels

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Lake Powell, one of the West's great boating and recreational treasures, was certified free of the invasive zebra and quagga mussels on Aug. 23.

The pronouncement from the National Park Service (NPS) is a relief for boaters and businesses who faced not only a major threat to aquatic resources, but the potential for significant ecological and economic impacts at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

"I'm not usually pleased to get a negative rating, but in this case negative is good and Lake Powell remains mussel free," said Glen Canyon Superintendent Stan Austin. "We have invested a tremendous amount of effort into the mussel prevention program at Glen Canyon. I'm proud of the staff and partners who have worked so diligently and I'm thankful to the boating public for their strong support and compliance."

The park service interagency partners began a pro-active mussel prevention program in 1999 after scientists predicted that Lake Powell would become the first site in the western United States to become infested with zebra and quagga mussels.

A false positive detection of mussels in August 2007 caused the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to issue an inconclusive rating for Lake Powell.

Now, after three years of extensive monitoring and not detecting a single mussel, the inconclusive rating has been changed to negative, meaning Lake Powell is mussel free.

"Our science has shown that Lake Powell has always been and remains mussel free" stated NPS aquatic ecologist Mark Anderson. "Had mussels been present in 2007, they would be easily detectable today. The false positive results in 2007 were always in question and now, three years later, the mussel free rating has increased everyone's confidence level."

The 186-mile long Lake Powell straddles Utah and Arizona border, and is a reservoir for the Colorado River.

While Lake Powell has been certified free of invasive zebra and quagga mussels, boaters must still have their vessels inspected. Additionally, boaters must make sure their vessels and boating equipment are cleaned, drained, and completely dry before moving to a new body of water.

For more information, visit the park's Web site at
www.nps.gov/glca or call (928) 608-6200.

National & State Parks