Cherry Creek State Park Boat Inspectors Find Mussels
Colorado State Parks
AURORA, Colo. - Inspectors at Cherry Creek State Park detected mussels on a 34 -foot motorboat and decontaminated the watercraft, preventing the spread of the aquatic nuisance species (ANS) to the reservoir, said Tim Metzger, the state park’s manager.
The boat’s owner, who purchased the vessel at an auction in Arizona last year, thanked the ANS inspectors for spotting the mussels and removing them with no damage to the motorboat, said Metzger.
“The mandatory boat inspections are essential for protecting the state’s lakes and reservoirs from ANS,” said Metzger. “In other states, the inspections prior to launching and boater education programs have successfully prevented the spread of zebra and quagga mussels.”
After the mussels were on the boat’s fittings on Sunday, May 10, the ANS staff at Cherry Creek and two ANS inspectors from Chatfield State Park had the opportunity to examine the boat before the mussels were removed. The decontamination lasted 4.5 hours and required 480 gallons of water heated to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Colorado State Parks also has an extensive education program to provide boat owners with information about checking their watercraft and protecting our waters,” said Metzger. “We ask that all boaters to be proactive and to ‘Clean. Drain and Dry’ as a precaution.
To protect Colorado waters, boaters leaving a lake or other waterway, boaters should:
DRAIN the water from the boat, live well and lower unit of the engine.
INSPECT all exposed surfaces.
REMOVE all plant and animal material.
CLEAN the hull of your boat.
DRY the boat, fishing gear, and equipment.
Colorado State Parks has one of the most progressive ANS inspection programs in the nation. Last year, the state parks’ ANS program performed over 114,000 boat inspections. More than 200,000 vessels will be inspected this year at 27 Colorado State Parks.