Invasive mussels inspection update

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From the Ouray News:

Western Slope lakes and reservoirs where mussels have been detected (mandatory inspections leaving) include Blue Mesa Reservoir in Gunnison County and McPhee Reservoir in Montezuma County.

Mandatory watercraft inspections are now in place at Ridgway Reservoir (Ouray County); Crawford Reservoir (Delta County); Elkhead Reservoir/Yampa State Park (Routt County); Harvey Gap Reservoir (Garfield County); Highline Reservoir (Mesa County); Jackson Gulch Reservoir at Mancos State Park(Montezuma County); Navajo Reservoir (La Plata County); Paonia Reservoir (Delta County); Sweitzer Lake (Delta County) and Vega Reservoir (Mesa County)

More coverage from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

Starting Monday, boaters hauling a motorized craft to Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap are required to have their boats inspected for zebra and quagga mussels and other exotic aquatic nuisances prior to being launched. Inspections will be done from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day at Rifle Gap and from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Harvey Gap…

An example of the possible complications is at Blue Mesa Reservoir, where all undeveloped launch sites now are closed. Boaters are asked to launch only at Elk Creek, Lake Fork and Stevens Creek marinas, where boat inspections are available daily from 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. “If they want to launch before or after those hours they just can’t,” said Sandra Snell-Dobert, spokesperson for Curecanti National Recreation Area. “It’s difficult, we know, but we’re trying to stretch the hours with the staffing level available to us. So far it seems to be working pretty well.”

Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap is making an effort to accommodate early launches by offering a pre-launch inspection the day before. Boaters will get a sealed sticker showing their boat has been inspected and this sticker is good for one launch. It’s not a season pass and you can expect to have your boat examined the next time you show up.

It’s going to be particularly tough to avoid inspections at Blue Mesa, which recently was listed as “suspect” for zebra mussels. This, said Snell-Dobert, means the Division of Wildlife detected some DNA from zebra mussels in the water without actually finding mussels. “It might have washed from someplace upstream or came off a boat,” said Snell-Dobert. “Subsequent tests showed nothing so we really don’t know for sure.”

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

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