[OSMB-News] Correction -News Release -Training Teaches How to ID Invasive Species and Decontaminate Boats
Ashley.Massey at state.or.us
Fri Jul 27 08:08:38 PDT 2007
For Immediate Release Date: Thursday, July 26, 2007
Training Teaches How to ID Invasive Species and Decontaminate Boats
They're hard to spot and can rapidly multiply. More importantly, it only takes one to contaminate a waterway and disrupt an entire ecosystem. We're talking about invasive mussels. Natural resource agency representatives, law enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary representatives from across the state attended a one-day workshop on Tuesday, July 24, in Salem. The session was hosted by the Oregon State Marine Board and Department of Fish and Wildlife. Training included hands-on experience with how to recognize invasive species and decontaminate infected boats.
Quagga and zebra mussels are similar in appearance. Adults look like a small clam with a D-shaped shell, usually with alternating dark and light stripes and about the size of your fingernail. If small juvenile mussels recently attached to a surface, they look like black pepper and feel like sandpaper. They first arrived in the U.S. in the ballast water of ocean-going ships in the 1980's. Once established in the Great Lakes, they clogged water and power plant systems, starved out native species and short-circuited the entire food chain. And once a state's waterways are invaded, there's no sure-fire way to get rid of them.
Boats are the primary way many of these species move. Consequently, boat owners are responsible for removing mussels and other aquatic plants and animals that attach to their watercraft. "Our goal with this training was to teach our partners how to recognize high risk situations and how to take action to prevent infestation. They learned that boats coming from east of the Rocky Mountains or from California, Nevada or Arizona should all be carefully inspected before launching," says Randy Henry, Policy Analyst for the Marine Board. "They also learned details about the infestation of Lake Meade and how quagga mussel populations are exploding." Even if a boat has traveled across the country, these mussels can survive out of water for as long as 30 days.
Oregon already has experience with invasive species. Diamond Lake and the tui chub (a type of minnow) infestation is an indicator of how much time and money it can take to restore a waterbody back to health. "It took ten years of planning and millions of dollars to restore Diamond Lake," says Henry. "If the Columbia River were contaminated with zebra mussels, it would take millions more just to keep fishways, generators and irrigation pumps operational." The key is to prevent these invasive species from contaminating our waterways.
Below is a list of actions boaters (including personal watercraft, canoe, and kayak users) and anglers should take to ensure that they aren't spreading invasive species:
* Never launch a dirty boat! Remove all aquatic plants and animals inside and out.
* Drain the water from your motor, live well and bilge on land before leaving the immediate area of the waterbody.
* Wash the hull, live well, equipment, and any other exposed surface. Flush the motor and bilges. If you boated in infested waterways, use hot (over 140°F) soapy water or use a (5%) solution of 1 part household bleach to 20 parts water.
* Completely inspect your vessel and trailer. Remove any visible mussels, mud, and plants but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. Young mussels can be hard to see.
* Wash the hull, equipment, bilge and any other equipment that comes in contact with lake water. Mussels can live in any small pocket where water collects.
* If a hot wash or bleach flush isn't available, air-dry the boat and other equipment for at least five days before launching in any other waterway. Boaters should not "rinse" their boat in a nearby fresh water lake after boating in salt water, as this can transfer invasive species.
* Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash and do not use bait that has been exposed to infested waters or imported from out of state.
If you think you have spotted a quagga or zebra mussels call 1-866-INVADER or
Additional information can be found at www.protectyourwaters.net and www.100thMeridian.org.
Media Note: Photos from this hands-on training are available for print. Please contact Ashley Massey if you would like a digital photo.
Ashley A. Massey
Public Affairs Specialist
Oregon State Marine Board
503-378-8587 ext. 82623
ashley.massey at state.or.us
"Go with the flow, and don't fight the current."
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