DENVER — Colorado Parks and Wildlife is warning boaters to clean, drain, dry and disinfect their boats before traveling to any reservoir in Colorado, especially when boats are brought in from out-of-state, because the number of boats infected by mussels is rising.
Boats coming in from heavily infested Lake Powell are especially problematic.
While boats are supposed to be inspected as they leave the desert impoundment, inspection stations there are overwhelmed and not all boats are thoroughly inspected. Mussels have even been found on paddleboards and canoes that have been in Lake Powel.
Colorado's boat inspectors have intercepted 51 mussel-infested boats this year, the same number as all of last year and we're only half-way through the boating season.
Mussels clog infrastructure, including reservoir dams, outlet structures and distribution systems that carry water for irrigation, municipal and industrial uses. Mussels also infest boats and damage engines.