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Utah Wildlife urges ‘safe boating
by SHAIN GILLET
Jul 09, 2014 | 609 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
QUAGGA MUSSELS such as these have been found in southern Utah’s Lake Powell. 
Photo by Natalie Boren | Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
QUAGGA MUSSELS such as these have been found in southern Utah’s Lake Powell. Photo by Natalie Boren | Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
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WOODS CROSS – As it turns out, boats can get STDs too.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is urging residents with boats to ‘practice safe boating’ in waters this summer as the spread of an STD Рor skiff-transmitted diseaseР is common this time of year in Utah’s major lakes and reservoirs.

The disease is better known as mussels, which attach themselves to boats from one body of water and are transplanted to another body of water if the boat is not cleaned properly. 

“Invasive mussels are a serious threat to Utah’s drinking water supply and the state’s recreational waters,” said Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program Coordinator for DWR Jordan Nielsen, in a press release sent to the Clipper. “An infestation of invasive mussels can destroy fisheries, pollute shorelines and beaches, damage boats and equipment, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars to control.”

Lake Powell, a popular summer site for boaters, anglers and other water enthusiasts in southern Utah, has already been infected with the mussels. It has not spread to other waters in the state, but DWR said it’s a reminder that residents should thoroughly check their boats for mussels and keep their boat as clean as possible after every outing.

DWR is doing its part by installing checkpoints for mussels all around Utah. Already there are checkpoints at the state border and at Northern Utah’s Bear Lake, located in Garden City, as well as Lake Powell.

If either is found, a citation may be issued and the watercraft may be decontaminated.

DWR is asking watercraft owners to do the following in order to prevent the spread of mussels: clean all plants and mud from each area of the boat, including the trailer; drain the boat by opening all plugs (including ballast tanks, bladders and bilges); and allow the watercraft to dry completely before launching in another body of water (up to 30 days depending on the time of year).

The next time the watercraft is used, the owner must fill out a certification form that verifies the watercraft has been decontaminated.

Those who don’t decontaminate properly will be cited and fined, DWR said. 

Professional decontamination can also be done at a decontamination station for free.

For more information visit stdofthesea.com.

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