WILDLIFE

Owners of non-motorized watercraft in Utah required to train on quagga mussel prevention

Jun 21, 2024, 4:00 PM

Quagga mussels...

Quagga mussels are pictured on a wall at Lake Powell. (Devan Chavez/Utah State Parks)

(Devan Chavez/Utah State Parks)

SALT LAKE CITY — Before you launch your boat in Utah this summer, a new law requires you to take an online training course about the prevention of quagga mussels.

Lt. Bruce Johnson heads up the Aquatic Invasive Species Division at DWR. He said they’re working hard to keep quagga mussels from spreading.

“We ask all the boaters as they leave a water body. Make sure the boat is clean pull all the drain plugs, which is required by law, and allow that boat to dry. So they’re not transporting water.”

Related: DWR discovers more efficient way to decontaminate boats from quagga mussels

He said the reason is that in their younger stages, quagga mussels are microscopic and just float in the water.

“They’re incredibly invasive and they can take over an entire water body and ecosystem. They’re filter feeders, so they will filter out all the plankton and the macrophytes they will disrupt that food chain for the rest of the aquatic species in that water body. The small invertebrates up through what the fish will eat and then they could potentially take a lot of those food resources out of the water body.

Johnson said that as they grow, they can also damage engines and machinery.

“They build up so much and continue to build on each other and they will plug off all the water flow. And so motors will no longer be able to cycle water that will cool the engine and they can ruin engines. They will do the same thing with all the water supply line[s] in that boat. As well as [a] dams infrastructure [and] water supply lines through any of our water treatment facilities as well.”

He said the quagga mussels showed up in Lake Powell about 11 years ago. 

Who else needs to do the quagga mussel prevention training?

Johnson said the training also applies to owners of non-motorized and inflatable boats.

“We asked them to still go through the education course, we have that online. So it is easy and accessible. They read some information. They take a quick quiz. Takes about 15 minutes total and then they can print out or save that on their phone as proof that they’ve gone through that course.”

(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

He said there is no fee for non-motorized boats, while the owners of motorized watercraft will need to pay $25. 

“The fee payment, that is not new. The only new part to is the way it is assessed. For the last seven or eight years, that fee was assessed through the department of motor vehicles with their boat registration for motorized boats. Now we’ve been required to have that payment come directly to the Division of Wildlife Resources… So it’s not a new fee. It’s not a new requirement. It’s been in place, we’ve just adjusted how it is being administered.”

Johnson said there is one more requirement for boat owners.

“All watercraft are required to stop at our inspection stations when they’re open and operating and it’s just to make sure that even those smaller craft inflatables are in compliance, even though they have taken that education course and maybe legal and how other paperwork they’re still required to stop at those inspection stations.”

Related: Expert wants boaters to know the rules about drinking on the water

We want to hear from you.

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

Wildlife

Utahns are taking to the hills to find cooler temps. However, DWR is sending a message: steer clear...

Andy Cupp

When it comes to mountain goats, DWR says keep your distance

Utahns are taking to the hills to find cooler temps. However, DWR is sending a message: steer clear of the mountain goats.

8 days ago

Wildlife Center of Salt Lake...

Josuee Sanchez, Reporter

Wildlife Center of Salt Lake looking to expand

Struggling to keep up with the intake of animals, the Wildlife Center of Salt Lake is looking to expand.

9 days ago

A cougar is pictured. A new lawsuit says Utah's law that allows yearlong cougar hunting could lead ...

Adam Small

Wildlife officials recommend no changes to Utah cougar hunting law

According to Utah wildlife officials, the cougar hunting law that went into effect last year has resulted in the same number of animals being hunted.

11 days ago

(FILE) - A coyote standing on the road in Sugar House Park in January, 2022....

Michael Houck, KSLTV.com

Reports of multiple pet deaths in Avenues neighborhood, prompts coyote warning

The Salt Lake County Animal Service warns people to keep indoor pets inside, after recent coyote sightings.

11 days ago

FILE: As the temperatures warm into triple-digits, wildlife officials remind those who feed humming...

Simone Seikaly

Care for your hummingbird feeder as temperatures rise

The hummingbird feeders are out and filled with sugar water, now what? A Utah wildlife expert shares how often the feeder should be cleaned.

14 days ago

Experience bird watching through the eyes of the Great Salt Lake Collaborative....

Emily Calhoun, Utah Public Radio

Wild About Utah: An auto tour of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Auto Route Tour can give people a way to bird watch and a way to view the Great Salt Lake wetlands.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

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.

Owners of non-motorized watercraft in Utah required to train on quagga mussel prevention