Vexing mussels: Officials concede defeat at Lake Powell, seek to contain invasive species

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  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    May 20, 2014 8:53 p.m.

    I don't know if they are trying to scare us or if the spread of these mussels is as devastating as they say.

  • H2OSKI Alpine, UT
    May 20, 2014 4:30 p.m.


    "..The happiest day for a boater is when they buy and then sell their boat."


    Our funnest days all summer are every day we can spend on the water. For the record we have never missed a day of boating due to problems or repairs. A couple of minor things ie. fuses but fixed in a matter of minutes.

    These mussels don't have any natural predation and nothing seems to stop them. Its extremely unfortunate.

    Try and put your boat in Lake Tahoe. $200 cleaning fee to decontaminate your boat to prevent the spread of mussels or you don't get to put your boat in to use the lake.

    In hindsight that is probably the only system that will work. Very expensive obviously and would have made it cost prohibitive and driven boaters away from use.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 20, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    FT, the pond does belong and helps many people that you've never even met.

  • RSLfanalways Why, AZ
    May 20, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    I wouldn't be surprised if all the Utah lakes are contaminated. These things are very costly to the culinary system. They might have to implement that if you have a boat you can only boat in the same lake to keep contamination lower. This will hurt boating activities. The happiest day for a boater is when they buy and then sell their boat.

  • Mom of Five Orem, UT
    May 20, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    The problem with the mussels is that they will attach to anything -- including motors and pipes. Here is what the Utah Invasive Species site says about them:

    Jeopardize power and water infrastructures
    Invasive mussels reproduce rapidly and coat any stable surface — including water intake pipes. If these animals establish populations in Utah, our water transport facilities will deliver less water and require additional maintenance (increasing your bill). They may also suffer temporary—but frequent—closures to remove mussels from equipment.

    Destroy your favorite recreation areas and equipment
    Invasive mussels reproduce so rapidly that their shells carpet beaches. These shells are sharp, so beachgoers will have to wear footwear at all times. The decaying mussels release a putrid smell that clings to the air and water. Finally, the mussels plug water circulation systems on watercraft, overheating motors that are costly to repair.

    Cost billions of dollars to control
    In the United States, mussels cost the power industry $3.1 billion from 1993–1999, with an impact on industries, businesses, and communities of more than $5 billion¹. If mussels become established in Utah, they are predicted to cost the state $15 million per year in increased costs — potentially driving up tax rates.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    May 20, 2014 3:24 a.m.

    If they couldn't keep it out of lake Powell then how does the state DWR plan to keep it from spreading throughout Utah reservoirs and lakes? There must be a micro predator for the mussel's so why can't they introduce them to lake Powell?

    If lake Powell is beyond help and so badly contaminated then its logical and likely that the rest of Utah is also facing extinction of recreational boating. I wonder how long the lake can keep going before they have to shut down the power generating turbines in the dams?

    I think this problem is more wide spread and serious than the state is reporting and is going into damage control mode as it destroys state waters for anything a landscape. Its more than likely these mussels have also infected the Colorado and green rivers to thwart any future use of these rivers for irrigation or culinary use since it will eventually destroy all pumps and culinary water supply facilities. It demonstrates that Utah government are not good care takers of natural resources.

    The feds may not have a choice but to drain the lake to keep it from becoming a disaster.

  • mountainlocal Brooklyn, NY
    May 20, 2014 1:45 a.m.

    The article never states why these species are so devastating. I don't know anything about Quagga or Zebra mussels. Why are people so concerned in Emery County and elsewhere?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    May 19, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    Drain the pond. It does not belong in the desert.