United Water officials find invasive mussels in Lake Piru

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Officials from United Water Conservation District reported that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed the presence of quagga mussels (Dreissenid mussels) at Lake Piru. Quagga mussels are an invasive freshwater mussel that can cause damage to boat motors and clog water intake structures, such as pipes and screens.

Samples of the mussel findings were collected on December 18 and sent to the Bodega Bay marine laboratory for analysis. On December 30, after full DNA testing, the samples were confirmed as quagga mussel. “Lake Piru will continue to operate, providing boating and other recreational opportunities to the public. We are proud of the recreation services we provide,” commented Mike Solomon, United Water Conservation District’s General Manager. “While we are disappointed with the discovery, as we have been conducting a rigorous boat inspection program for years in an effort to prevent this very development, we will work with state and local agencies to control the presence and spread of the quagga mussels.”

The district is currently advising all boaters leaving the lake that they should follow a series of decontamination procedures to prevent further contamination at other bodies of water. These procedures include inspecting all exposed surfaces of watercraft, washing the hull of all watercrafts thoroughly with hot water, cleaning and drying of all live-wells and waiting five days in hot weather and up to 30 days in cool, moist weather before launching a boat in another body of water.

For more information on this matter, please call the Lake Piru Park Services office at (805) 317-8990.

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