Zebra mussels have been found at Lake Pueblo in January 2008. They are a non-native invasive species that spread very quickly, having harmful effects on the environment. Zebra mussels attach to hard surfaces and are known to clog intakes and engines on boats, as well as pipes and water transport structures. They also have had major impacts to fisheries in other states.
In efforts to try to contain the spread of zebra mussels and other Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), Colorado State Parks Board recently approved statewide inspections of boats and trailers. They will be implemented at Lake Pueblo April 26, 2008 and expand this to other parks that have been identified as high risk for transport of zebra mussels or other aquatic invasive species. See news release for complete information.
We will be posting information about new policies at other parks over the next few months. Please cooperate with our Rangers as these new policies are implemented. It is critical for the boating public to fully cooperate in order to protect boating opportunities in Colorado and prevent the spread of these damaging organisms.
Before leaving a lake or other waterway, boaters should:
- DRAIN the water from the boat, live well and the lower unit of the engine.
- CLEAN the hull of your boat.
- DRY the boat, fishing gear, and equipment.
- INSPECT all exposed surfaces.
- REMOVE all plant and animal material.
Zap the Zebra brochure from the 100th Meridian.
In 1988 zebra mussels spread from Eurasia to the Great Lakes in contaminated ballast water. They quickly spread to the Mississippi River, its tributaries and inland lakes. Zebra mussels cost the USA billions of dollars a year in national control efforts!
Zebra mussels are small barnacle-like mollusks with dark and light colored stripes. They smother aquatic organisms, such as crayfish and native clams and out compete for food and aquatic habitat. Zebra mussels damage equipment by attaching to boat motors or hard surfaces and clog water treatment facilities. They litter beaches with sharp, dangerous shells.
For more information on Zebra mussels and how to prevent their spread, please visit www.100thmeridian.org or protectyourwaters.com.
Additional contact information for Zebra Mussels policies and strategies: