SALT LAKE CITY — Although the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is boosting its inspection and decontamination capacity along the routes leaving Lake Powell over the Fourth of July, boaters should expect long lines as every boat needs to be inspected for quagga mussels.
Additionally, law enforcement is increasing its efforts to identify violators and cite them when necessary.
According to the division, the quagga mussel situation at Lake Powell has worsened this season. Rising lake levels have caused previously exposed mussels to dislodge and float in the water, meaning more boats are leaving the lake with mussels and shells onboard their vessels, sucked into sea strainers, on anchors and in compartments.
DWR technicians and law enforcement are asking the public to be patient during the inspection process.
Boaters can help speed up the inspection process by checking their boats for mussels or shells prior to arriving at the inspection station and removing anything suspect, including those in the sea strainer.
Also, boaters should pull all drain plugs and pump out ballast tanks prior to inspection.
Limited decontamination options are available at Lake Powell. However, a decontamination station recently opened at a new mandatory inspection station in Kanab. Staffing to handle decontaminations is also being increased at state parks along the I-15 corridor, including Sand Hollow, Yuba and Utah Lake. Boaters can also expect a new mandatory inspection station to open in Hanksville in the coming weeks.