OUTDOORS + RECREATION

DWR discovers more efficient way to decontaminate boats from quagga mussels

May 16, 2024, 5:00 AM

A quagga dip tank at Lake Powell, as a boat enters the tank to be decontaminated from quagga mussel...

A quagga dip tank at Lake Powell, as a boat enters the tank to be decontaminated from quagga mussels. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

(Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

PAGE, Arizona — After boaters at Lake Powell regularly spent hours in a decontamination line to rid their boats of quagga mussels, the Utah Divison of Wildlife Resources discovered a way to condense that line to just minutes.

Garret Atwood and his friend and business partner Jonas Hyita said their trips to the lake would always end the same way.

“Everybody’s tired, there’s lots of sun, and so we would get in line to go get decontaminated and inspected,” Atwood said. “And the lines get long, and it’s — you know you just don’t want to sit there. And then by the time you get up there, it takes like an hour.”

The solution the DWR developed is a dip tank that decontaminates the boats and kills quagga mussels. Boaters can run it through the system for only minutes before heading back out.

Lt. Bruce Johnson is over DWR’s aquatic invasive species operations. He said speed and efficiency are important in helping boaters act responsibly.

“We have the confidence in knowing that we have more completely and thoroughly eliminated that threat of quagga mussels,” he said. “Water is one of our most important resources and if we lose that battle with quagga mussels, we’re going to have plugged water lines, infrastructure …”

Johnson said therefore most boaters want to keep waters clear of quagga mussels too. He said the mechanism of the tank targets late-stage larvae, but it’s efficient for adults too.

“Most of these decontaminations that we’re doing in the dip tank are targeting the veligers. However, the 110 degrees at a five-minute exposure will 100% kill adult quagga mussels as well.”

Now, there are five tanks statewide, and one more on its way to Flaming Gorge.

“It’s nice to see that it’s fast. There’s not a line. There’s usually a queue of maybe one or two boats on a busy day… They get you in and out of there, you know, ten minutes,” Atwood said.

DWR biologists warned boaters not to drop an anchor at Lake Powell and put it back inside the boat. That increases the risk for quagga mussels ending up on life jackets or other items. They also said to ensure sea strainers are removed and dried completely after use.

Read more: Fishing limit will increase ahead of lake poisonings

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

Search and rescue crews braced Friday for a potentially busy Memorial Day weekend as they urged peo...

Andrew Adams, KSL TV

Rescuers prepare for what could be a busy Memorial Day weekend

Search and rescue crews braced Friday for a potentially busy Memorial Day weekend as they urged people to prepare for the elements.

2 days ago

The KSL Greenhouse show host Taun Beddes shares why lawns might turn brown and how to treat those l...

Taun Beddes, The KSL Greenhouse Show

Taun Beddes: Reasons why your lawn is suddenly turning brown

The KSL Greenhouse show host Taun Beddes shares why some lawns turn brown and how to treat the problem if that happens to you.

2 days ago

The Department of Public Safety helicopter was called to support Lone Peak avalanche rescue operati...

Esme Sanchez Estevez

Update: Lone Peak Canyon avalanche search and rescue information

With possible exposure to possible avalanches, rescuers worked hard on complicated mission. Here are more in detail information of the research and rescue.

3 days ago

A lake seen in Utah with beachgoers ahead of the time to learn about Memorial Day safety....

Kennedy Camarena

How to stay safe on the water during Memorial Day weekend

This weekend is considered to be the unofficial start of summer and boating season. When's a better time to learn about water safety?

3 days ago

Multi-directional sprinkler system (canva)...

Mitchell von Puttkammer

Water conservation in your Utah garden

Water conservation in a Utah garden can include installing smart sprinkler systems. And the state can help defray the cost!

3 days ago

Suicide Rock in Parley's Canyon in 2023, before the myrtle spurge was sprayed with treatment....

Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

Roundup sprayed via drone in Millcreek, Parley’s canyons to kill invasive weed. DWR says it’s needed

In an attempt to kill weeds, the Department of Wildlife Resources sprayed pesticides in the foothills of Millcreek and Parley’s canyons.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

DWR discovers more efficient way to decontaminate boats from quagga mussels