Search for quagga or zebra mussels continues

PAGE, ARIZ. - The search for adult quagga or zebra mussels is continuing at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Since Aug. 10, divers have been searching the Wahweap Marina area for visible quagga or zebra mussels.

They have been carefully inspecting boats, cables and dock structures. As of Aug. 17, about 500 boats in the Wahweap Marina had been thoroughly examined for mussels. No visible quagga or zebra mussels had been found.

Additional sampling for microscopic larval mussels is also continuing in the Wahweap Marina area in hopes of identifying a "hot spot" of activity. Samples were also taken the week of Aug. 13 by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources at Bullfrog and Halls Crossing marinas, in the San Juan Arm of Lake Powell, the Rincon, Padre Bay, and Good Hope Bay.

Most of the samples are being sent to a Bureau of Reclamation laboratory in Denver for processing. In addition, the National Park Service has upgraded its microscopic equipment at the Wahweap laboratory, which allows some samples to be examined locally.

On Aug. 15, a boat with quagga mussels attached to it arrived at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The boat had come from Lake Mead, where it had been moored since April. The boat was fully decontaminated by ARAMARK at the new Wahweap decontamination station before it was permitted to launch into Lake Powell. This was the second boat this year that had come to Glen Canyon with quagga mussels visibly attached.

Superintendent Kitty Roberts reminds visitors that, "We are still actively trying to prevent quagga or zebra mussels from infesting Lake Powell. At the same time, we are mounting a major search to determine if an established population exists in the Wahweap area, while expanding our sampling to determine if mussel larvae are present in other parts of the lake."