Colorado State Parks boating and invasive mussel inspection information

A picture named zebramusselinfestation.jpg

From The Denver Post:

Current boat inspection hours for other eastern Colorado reservoirs administered by Colorado State Parks are:

Cherry Creek Reservoir: Through April, the east ramp will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Both ramps will be open Friday through Sunday. Full operation resumes May 1.
Barr Lake: Through April, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Saturday. Drop boxes for pre-inspection seals are available at the ramp and may be used at other times. Boat motors cannot exceed 10 horsepower.
Boyd Lake: Through April, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, main ramp only. Pre-inspection seal drop boxes available at the ramp at other times.
Jackson Lake: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Pre-inspection seals may be used at other times.
North Sterling Reservoir: Opens to boating April 15.
Lake Pueblo: Through April 14, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. No loading or unloading of boats permitted after hours.
Trinidad Lake: Beginning April 1, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
John Martin Reservoir: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Lathrop State Park: Both lakes closed to trailered boats until the water level in Martin Reservoir returns to its normal level.

More coverage from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

“Based on what we’ve seen in other parts of the country, it can take anywhere from three to five years after initial introduction, before adult populations boom and mussels start colonizing on infrastructure or before shells are found along shorelines,” said Jerry Neal, spokesman for the DOW.

First found in Lake Pueblo in late 2007, signs of invasive mussels popped up at six other reservoirs in the state in 2008. It appeared the zebra and the closely related quagga mussels would follow the pattern of rapid spread seen in other states. In response, the state launched an aggressive boat inspection and decontamination program, along with boater education and risk assessment programs that were meant to slow down that spread. In 2009, the only state-wide evidence of invasive mussels was found at Lake Pueblo, despite more than 400,000 boat inspections, 3,300 decontamination procedures and research at 100 lakes or reservoirs. Even at Pueblo, only the larvae, called veligers, were found last year. No live mussels have yet been found within the state, although 19 boats with attached mussels were intercepted coming into the state last year…

Weather could have played a part in the failure to detect mussels at higher elevation lakes after positive results in 2008, Neal said. “In reservoirs above 7,000 feet, cooler water temperatures may cause a considerable fluctuation in the number of veligers produced from year to year,” Neal said. “We had an unusually cool, wet spring and summer in 2009 which may have resulted in a much shorter breeding season for the mussels and fewer veligers.”[…]

OTHER PESTS

Zebra and quagga mussels can clog pipelines, ruin beaches and deplete nutrients in lakes, but are not the only aquatic pests that concern Colorado Division of Wildlife officials. Among the others:

RUSTY CRAYFISH

Native to the Ohio River basin, the crayfish are more aggressive than native species, colonize and can diminish the native fish population. They were found for the first time last year on the Yampa River near Steamboat Springs.

NEW ZEALAND MUD SNAILS

The tiny snails can reach concentrations of 500,000 per square yard and out-compete native food sources for fish. They have been found at one site on the Green River and two sites in the South Platte basin and monitored since 2004.

EURASIAN MILFOIL

An aquatic weed, it takes over lakes under certain conditions, choking out most other forms of life. So far, the state has confirmed 15 exotic milfoil sites, five native (northern milfoil) and two hybrid sites. A management program began in 2005.

PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE

A weed that grows in marshy areas or wetlands, it crowds out native or beneficial plants. It is controlled to protect waterfowl habitat and maintain flows. In Colorado, 29 cities and counties participate in a management program started in the South Platte basin in 1993.

More invasive species coverage here and here.

Leave a Reply