Quagga Mussels a Threat to Big Bear Lake

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(Newswire.net — September 18, 2013) Big Bear Lake, CALIFORNIA 

Why are TroutfesT 2013 participants advised to clean their boats before coming to Big Bear Lake? Two words, Quagga Mussels.

Quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) is a freshwater mussel and a major concern in the United States. It is an invasive species and continues to cause substantial ecological and environmental impacts in the Great Lakes region. The mussel is native to Ukraine, transported on transoceanic ships and introduced into the Great Lakes via ballast water discharge. Quaggas are water filterers and remove large amounts of phytoplankton from the water decreasing the food source for zooplankton, affecting the aquatic food web. Impacts include decrease in native fish food sources, explosion of aquatic plants, changes in species population, and fouling of native freshwater mussels.

Quaggas can rapidly colonize hard surfaces. They clog intake structures reducing pumping capabilities for power and water treatment plants. In the case of Big Bear Lake, water for snow-making and irrigation will be affected. Launch ramps, docks, boats, beaches, underwater boulders, and dam spillways will be colonized by these invasive mussels requiring constant cleaning and maintenance.

As early as January 2007, quaggas were found in Lake Mead and Lake Mead’s lower basin. Later surveys found colonies in Lakes Mohave and Havasu, and in the Colorado River Aqueduct System serving Southern California. All reservoirs, lakes, and watersheds supplied with raw Colorado River water have been exposed to these invasive species. Big Bear Lake remains free of the quagga scourge because of constant vigilance. Boats are the primary transporters of quaggas and boaters coming to Big Bear Lake can help keep it free by following these necessary steps as listed in the Big Bear Municipal Water District website (www.bbmwd.com/Quagga_Mussel.html);

• Thoroughly wash the hull of each watercraft once it is out of the water, removing all plants and animal materials.
• Drain any water through the vessel’s hull plug and ensure the area is dry.
• Ensure the vessel’s lower outboard unit is drained and dry.
• Clean and dry any live-well aboard the vessel.
• Empty and dry any buckets.
• Dispose of all bait in the trash.

Participants bringing their own vessel must make sure to complete the above steps. Additionally the vessel must be inspected before launching. Let’s keep Big Bear Lake quagga free.

Pine Retreat

42000 Juniper Dr
Big Bear Lake,CALIFORNIA 92315