Invasive mussels attach to hard surfaces and are known to clog intakes and engines, pipes, and water transport structures. Prevention remains an effective and ecologically protective approach to managing invasive mussels. The level at which prevention activities occur vary greatly among the Western States. Current prevention activities include outreach and education, law enforcement, watercraft inspection, decontamination and impoundment, watercraft exclusion, management of overland boat movement and permitting for movement of large water-based materials and equipment, and development of risk management/assessment plans.
Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination (WID)
The use of WID programs has become a major strategy to prevent the spread and introduction of dreissenid mussels throughout the Western states. By implementing consistent and effective protocols, managers have realized success in identifying watercraft and other equipment that pose a risk.
Implementing regionally consistent watercraft inspection programs across the West does pose difficulties. There is a large number of programs already in place and a wide range of agency and organization capacity to implement programs, as a consequence consistency across jurisdictional boundaries is difficult to achieve. Regardless, interjurisdictional coordination and cooperation is the key to preventing the range expansion of dreissenid mussels in the western United States.
All boaters and other watercraft recreational users should take simple, precautionary steps - every time they go to a lake, river, or stream.
Before leaving a lake or waterway, boaters should:
- Drain the water from the boat, live well and the lower unit of the engine.
- Clean the hull of your boat.
- Dry the boat, fishing gear, and equipment.
- Inspect all exposed surfaces.
- Remove all plant and animal material.
The Bureau of Reclamation supports WID across the 17 Western United States through funding partnerships and infrastructure for WID.
Equipment Cleaning Manual
Procedures have been developed in this manual to address the transport of invasive species and pests through equipment movement. This manual provides guidance for inspecting and cleaning vehicles and equipment to help prevent the spread of noxious invasive species during Bureau of Reclamation activities. The general types of equipment described in this manual are:
- Rubber-tired land vehicles
- Tracked land vehicles
- Personal use equipment
- Construction and facility equipment
Uniform Minimum Protocols and Standards for Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs for Dreissenid Mussels in the Western United States (UMPSIII)