Mussel inspections expanding

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Officials are expanding the invasive mussel inspection program at Carter and Horsetooth reservoirs, according to a report by Pamela Dickman writing for the Loveland Reporter Herald. From the article:

The mussels, which attach themselves to boats, have not been found in lakes in Larimer County — and water and recreation officials want to keep it that way. So, trained inspectors will examine every boat before it is allowed to launch on Carter Lake or Horsetooth Reservoir, starting April 1, following new state regulations approved Friday. Although state regulations require inspection of boats that have been on infected lakes or any lake in another state, Larimer County will go one step further and inspect all boats entering Carter and Boyd lakes and Horsetooth Reservoir…

“Due to the constraints of checking boats, we will implement launching hours for the first time in the history of these reservoirs,” [Dan Rieves, manager of the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources Blue Mountain District] said. Boats will be able to enter the water from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and they can stay on the water beyond 10 p.m.

Similar inspections started in August at Boyd Lake State Park and will continue this summer. Inspectors at Boyd Lake examined 4,012 boats last season, becoming suspicious of only three; lab tests on those later came back negative…

All four of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District’s Colorado-Big Thompson Project reservoirs on the West Slope — Lake Granby, Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Willow Creek Reservoir — have tested positive for velligers (baby mussels), but mature mussels have not been spotted there…

The regulations also outline the process of inspecting boats and cleaning contaminated vessels — the rules that inspectors in Larimer County will follow. Rieves plans to hire 17 boat inspectors for Horsetooth and Carter as soon as he receives $380,000 from the state. “A complication is the governor freezing money,” said Rieves. “That money has to thaw out before we get it.”

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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