Whether you raft, kayak, fish or swim in Western waters, you can make sure quagga mussels — and other aquatic invasives — don’t travel with you. Here’s how.
Before leaving any body of water:
- Inspect your boat, trailer, clothing and any other wet gear for plants, fish or animals, and remove them on site.
- Wash off mud and dirt, which can carry tiny mussel larvae.
- Clean people and equipment — and don’t forget the dog!
- Eliminate all water from all equipment, including motors live wells, boat hulls, scuba regulators, bait buckets and boots.
- Clean your equipment with salt water or hot water (above 104 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Dip gear that can’t be exposed to hot water in vinegar for 20 minutes, or soak it in a salt solution for 24 hours (see protectyourwaters.net for recipes).
- Don’t dump unused bait in the water.
Before launching into new waters, allow equipment to dry. Five days of drying is ideal.
This story is a sidebar to the feature:
Quagga mussels – an extraordinarily prolific and costly invasive species – have appeared in Lake Mead, and no one is sure how to keep these unwanted newcomers from infesting the West.