The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has had another busy year in the fight against the invasive quagga mussel. DWR and other partnering agencies worked hard inspecting and decontaminating boats across the state this year.

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Lake Powell is currently the only Utah waterbody infested with invasive quagga mussels.  

Statewide, aquatic invasive species technicians with the DWR, Utah State Parks, Arizona Game and Fish Department and the National Park Service have inspected 268,630 boats and performed 6,625 decontaminations since Jan. 1.

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Of those total numbers, 64,341 of the boat inspections and 1,584 of the decontaminations took place at stations in the Lake Powell area. 

This was an increase from the 248,774 boats inspected statewide last year, 4,376 of which were decontaminated.

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There are three dip tanks in Utah staffed by the DWR. Those tanks are at the Stateline Ramp at Lake Powell, Sand Hollow Reservoir in Washington County and at Utah Lake in Utah County. 1,000 of the boat decontaminations this year were in the three dip tanks. 

The dip tanks at Sand Hollow and Utah Lake were installed this year. The majority to decontaminations by use of a dip tank was at Utah Lake where 844 watercraft were decontaminated. The dip tank located at Lake Powell is currently undergoing upgrades, but will be in operation before the start of the next boating season.

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 This year, DWR conservation officers issued 455 citations and warning citations for violations of Utah laws established to prevent the spread of invasive mussels, which was actually a decrease from the 588 violations issued in 2022. 

 Most of the violations stemmed from boaters not taking the mandatory education course and not displaying the certification form. Citations were also issued for watercraft operators not stopping for the mandatory inspection and not removing drain plugs while transporting watercraft.

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Boaters are reminded that the required dry time during the winter months is thirty days. For more information on the harm caused by quagga mussels, and more information on boating regulations in Utah, visit the STD of the Sea website. 

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