CPW continues fight against aquatic nuisance species | CraigDailyPress.com

CPW continues fight against aquatic nuisance species

Fewer boats requiring decontamination due to fouling by destructive species entered Colorado in 2022 compared to previous years with nearly 500,000 inspections performed.

However, the fight continues for the agency’s statewide inspection program this year as Aquatic Nuisance Species staff work to keep invasive species from spreading in the state’s lakes and reservoirs.

According to CPW, inspectors conducted 446,663 inspections and decontaminated 27,003 boats suspected of carrying mussels, other aquatic invasive species or standing water in 2022. Most concerning was the increase in the number of boats fouled with mussels.

In 2019, 86 boats were found to be fouled with invasive mussels. In 2020, that number jumped to 100. And in 2021 that skyrocketed to 181. In 2022, CPW found 148 boats entering the state with the highly destructive species. Mussels are destructive to aquatic habitat, can seriously damage reservoir infrastructure and cause problems on boats.

Contaminated boats usually come into Colorado from neighboring states, especially Utah and Arizona because of the proximity to Lake Powell which has been mussel-infested for years. Other neighboring states with mussel infestations include Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and South Dakota. Most Midwestern and East Coast states also have infested waters.

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