Talking Point: Zebra mussels in Utah lakes

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Despite extensive efforts to keep them out, dreaded zebra mussels appear to have made their way into Utah waters.

The Division of Wildlife Resources says water samples from Pelican Lake, Midview Reservoir and Red Fleet Reservoir, all in northern Utah, contain what look like zebra or quagga mussels.

Quagga mussels can:

  • Jeopardize essential power and water infrastructures
  • Destroy recreation areas and equipment
  • Severely damage ecosystems, displacing native and sport fish species
  • Cost millions of dollars to control Properly cleaning of boats includes, cleaning plants, fish, mussels and mud from the boat; draining the water from the boat and all the equipment on it, and drying the boat in the sun before using it again. If you want DWR personnel to decontaminate your boat, they'll do it for free using special decontamination units. These units spray water that's 140 degrees Fahrenheit. "For a 16- to 18-foot boat, this process takes about 20 to 30 minutes," Dalton says. "Once we're done, your boat is decontaminated, and you can launch it on another water." For more than a year, Wildlife and Park Service teams have been leading efforts to stop the spread of these mussels. Utah Fisheries director Walt Donaldson offers insights on this discovery in tonight's Talking Point. Click Play to view this segment.

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