Prevention Measures

Reclamation is concentrating on proactive measures to help reduce the spread and impacts of mussels to facilities and structures, lessening the need for time-consuming and more costly control measures. Prevention of mussel transport from one water body to another remains an effective approach to managing invasive mussels. The level at which prevention activities occur varies 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)

Watercraft inspection and decontamination (WID) programs are the primary strategy used 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 poses difficulties. There are a large number of programs already in place, and a wide range of agency and management organizations that implement these 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. The Bureau of Reclamation supports WID across the 17 Western United States through funding partnerships and infrastructure for WID.

All boaters and other recreational watercraft users should take simple, precautionary steps every time they go to a lake, river, or stream.

Before leaving a lake or waterway, boaters should:

  1. Drain water from all boat compartments that retain water, including ballast tanks, live wells, and lower unit of the engine.
  2. Clean the boat hull.
  3. Dry the boat, fishing gear, and equipment.
  4. Inspect all exposed surfaces.
  5. Remove all plant and animal material.


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
  • Watercraft

Download the Manual

Uniform Minimum Protocols and Standards for Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs for Dreissenid Mussels in the Western United States (UMPSIII)

Uniform minimum protocols and standards for watercraft inspection and decontamination programs for dreissenid mussels in the western united states (UMPSIII)

Last Updated: 5/16/22