Invasive Mussels Prompt Boat Inspections at Local Lakes - Fox 2 News Headlines

Invasive Mussels Prompt Boat Inspections at Local Lakes

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California State Parks California State Parks

VENTURA (FOX 11 / AP) - Officials are stepping up monitoring efforts to prevent an invasive mussel found in Ventura County's Lake Piru from spreading to other Southern California lakes.

The Ventura County Star reports that recreational boaters can no longer move easily from Lake Piru to nearby Castaic and Pyramid lakes and must now face inspection.

Two other area lakes have implemented temporary quarantines for boats seeking to enter the water.

Water agencies in California have worked to fight off the quagga mussel, a prolific breeder that can clog pipes and machinery.

Lake Piru provides irrigation to major county farms and drinking water to parts of Oxnard.

Eloise Tavares, an environmental scientist with the state Fish and Wildlife Department, says it's not clear how the lake became infested.

On Dec. 18, Lake Piru Recreation Area staff first reported the discovery of potential quagga mussels found in the lake.

The quagga mussels range from one half to three quarter inches and can multiply quickly. These mussels can be spread from one body of water to another attached to nearly anything that has been in an infested body of water from boat engines to buckets, according to a Fish and Wildlife statement.

People who launch vessels at any body of water are subject to watercraft inspections and are encouraged to clean, drain and dry their motorized and non-motorized boats, and any equipment that comes into contact with the water before and after use.

For more information on the quagga mussel or the quarantine, visit the California Fish and Wildlife website.

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