National Park Service battles mussels in Lake Roosevelt

SPOKANE, Wash. - The National Park Service stepped up its war on aquatic invasive species.  On Tuesday, December 26th the agency announced it will implement a mussel-free self-certification program at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.

The NPS is requesting operators certify their boat or personal watercraft free of aquatic invasive species, especially quagga/zebra mussels, prior to launching. Boats that have been in infested waters should be drained of all water, washed thoroughly with hot water and dried for at least 7 days before entering Lake Roosevelt.

The agency reminds boat owners to remove all dirt, plants and water from boats and trailers prior to launching every time.  Self-certification forms are available at all Lake Roosevelt NRA launch ramps and on the park’s website, just click here.

Aquatic invasive species are easily transported between bodies of water by boats and trailers. Currently, the Columbia Basin in Washington, Oregon and Idaho is free of invasive mussels. Quagga and zebra mussels are exotic mussels native to Ukraine and Russia.

Quagga/zebra mussels quickly cover most hard surfaces and can clog boat motor intake systems, water intake structures, agricultural irrigation systems and hydroelectric power plant operations. These small mussels can survive out of the water for up to two weeks and the microscopic larvae can be transported in bilges, ballast water, live wells or other equipment that holds water.