July 2008

Help Keep Quagga Mussels Out Of Tempe Town Lake
By Rob Gibbs

Arizona Sailing Foundation

If you aren't familiar, the Quagga mussel is similar to the zebra mussel.  It is about as big as an average person's thumbnail, and that is the problem. 

At maturity, they get into machinery and clog things like water-intake valves, engine-cooling water-intake grates and other devices — not to mention that if your boat is moored in a Quagga-positive lake, they can adhere to the hull and decrease your fuel efficiency and slow down your boat.  

To make matters worse, Quagga larvae are microscopic, making a visual inspection for them insufficient.  There is now concern that this invasive species will be transferred to Tempe Town Lake through portage of boats from Lake Pleasant.

If you are a boater that trailers your boat to the different lakes available to us here in the greater Phoenix metro area, please take some precautions to ensure that you don't have any unwanted passengers on board.

  • Clean your hull; spray it down at the lakeside before leaving if possible, or at a self-serve, high-powered car wash on the way home.
  • Drain the water; drain all the water from bilges, live-wells, and between hull spaces. D
  • Dry everything; dry the hull and all you gear.
  • Wait five days; if possible, wait five dry days before launching your boat in another waterway.

Tempe Town Lake is a confined body of water, and introduction of the Quagga mussel could be disastrous to the water recirculation systems, dams and docks that make the lake fun and enjoyable for all of us. 

For more information, please visit the Arizona Game and Fish website at www.azgfd.gov. Please do your part!