Zebra mussels are so, like, 1980s. Now it’s the awkwardly-named Quagga mussels that’s fueling the latest round of invasive-species doomerism. They’re taking over Lake Mead, and officials in surrounding quagga-free states are getting hard-core about staying that way.
From this story in the New York Times:
_As Lake Mead’s water levels drop, the alkaline-laced minerals bleaching the 100-foot “bathtub rings” there are bleaching something else: nets of interlaced quagga mussels just above the water line. The mussels, an invasive species that has cost local governments nationwide tens of millions of dollars, showed up in force there three years ago, spreading all over the bottom and up the cliffs on the Arizona and Nevada sides of the reservoir.
__Now those who transport the pipe-clogging, pump-destroying shellfish (and their close cousins, zebra mussels) can be found on the “Wanted” posters of law enforcement agencies around the West. A Los Angeles man was fined $5,000 by officials in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., in August after he told a mistruth in launching his boat, which had recently been in a quagga-infested lake in Utah. And Wyoming legislators passed a law this year requiring state fish and game officials to inspect boats before the craft can be used in the waterways in state parks. Thus far, The Associated Press reported Monday, Wyoming officials believe they have been successful in keeping out the intruders. In Idaho, itinerant boats must be inspected by state agricultural officials. Ditto in Washington State, which is fearful of the impact of these invaders — originally from areas around the Caspian and Baltic Seas — on the Columbia River system and its elaborate hydroelectric infrastruftures. And Arizona has a new law requiring boat owners using state waterways to decontaminate their craft._