Mandatory Boat Inspections

Colorado is requiring boat inspections for invasive mussels



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PHOENIX -- Arizona boaters heading to Colorado need to be aware of new regulations in that state requiring state-certified inspections of boats for zebra and quagga mussels prior to launching on any Colorado Lake, reservoir or waterway.

"Mandatory boat inspections have proved successful in other states at stopping the spread of invasive mussels," said Elizabeth Brown, Colorado Department of Wildlife invasive species coordinator.

The new Colorado regulations limit inspections to trailered watercraft. Hand-launched crafts, including kayaks, rafts, canoes and belly boats may launch without an inspection.

Zebra and quagga mussels were discovered in Lake Pueblo in January 2008. Subsequent sampling confirmed the presence of zebra and or quagga mussel larvae in six other locations in Colorado.

Arizona wildlife authorities said that since their discovery in Lake Mead in 2007, prolific quagga mussels have spread to Lake Mohave, Lake Havasu and via the Central Arizona Project Canal to Lake Pleasant near Phoenix. The invasive mussels have also spread widely along waterways in California.

"All Arizona boaters should drain, clean and dry their boats after each visit to any lake to prevent spreading quagga mussels or other unwanted aquatic nuisance species," advises Tom McMahon, the invasive species coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

For more information on invasive mussels, please visit Arizona Game and Fish Department's Web site at www.azgfd.gov/h_f/zebra_mussels.shtml or the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Web site at: www.wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/Profiles/InvasiveSpecies/ZebraandQuaggaMussels.htm

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