Credit: Original release can be viewed here: http://www.auroragov.org/AuroraGov/Departments/Parks___Open_Space/Reservoirs/Aurora_Reservoir/002629
Zebra Mussels are a tiny, non-native species that have been discovered in lakes and reservoirs throughout the country. While they pose no health risk, Zebra Mussels can cause severe damage to water systems, boating equipment and the ecosystem. Zebra Mussel infestations in Midwest waters have caused billions of dollars in damage.
CO State Parks confirmed the presence of Zebra Mussels in Lake Pueblo. Because these mussels are introduced to new bodies of water when they attach to boats, kayaks, sailboats and waders, State Parks is working with municipalities throughout the state to prevent further spread. As part of this statewide effort, Aurora Parks and Open Space staff have implemented the following measures at Aurora and Quincy Reservoirs:
* Owners and operators of ALL watercraft, including belly boats, kayaks and sailboats will be interviewed by an Aurora Park Ranger before they will be allowed to launch their watercraft. Fishermen who plan to use waders will also be interviewed. All watercraft must be launched from the designated boat launch area, and only after speaking with a Ranger. Parks staff will want to know if the watercraft has been on other reservoirs or lakes. * If necessary, the Ranger will complete a thorough inspection of the watercraft or fishing equipment to determine if any Zebra Mussels are present. * Depending on the results of the interview or the inspection, Park Rangers can deny access to the water if they believe the watercraft is considered high risk.
To help prevent the spread of Zebra Mussels, boaters should do the following:
* Drain the water from the boat, live well and the lower unit of the engine. * Remove all plant and animal material. * Clean the hull of your boat. * Dry the boat, fishing gear and equipment.
For more information on Zebra Mussels, go to www.protectyourwaters.net or call 1-800-437-2744.