Leaving a Quagga Mussel Infested Lake

First let me say that I have gone threw three days of Quaaga Mussel training. I spent one day at DVL recognizing the problems that the Quagga Mussel cause as well as how to recognize them. Several people from various lakes around the state also attended. Then I spent two days at Calleville Bay Marina at Lake Mead in intensive training on finding and killing the Quagga Mussel and hands on cleaning Quagga Mussels off of boats. I am classified as a Level 1 First Responder by 100th Meridian Initiative (www.100thmerdian.org) who did the training at Lake Mead.

When I am fishing Havasu or any other lake with the dreaded Quagga Mussel there are a few things I do differently although not a lot differently.

The very first thing I do when I get on the water is dump some Catch and Release in my livewells. That’s even before I blast off. Catch and Release kills Velegers (Quagga Mussel Larvae) so I know the little critters are not going to survive in my livewells. When I get back to the dock and go get the trailer, the first thing I do is look at the bunks to be sure there is no vegetation on them. Launching out of Windsor Beach there is a lot of vegetation in the Marina that you can pick up very easily.

I keep a boat cleaning kit in the back of my truck as most boat owners do. In that kit is Peregrine 250 boat cleaner, Peregrine Waterdog Hard water spot remover and a spray bottle full of White Vinegar along with a gallon bottle of White Vinegar. White Vinegar kills Quagga Mussel and is harmless to handle. Before I load my boat on the trailer I spray the bunks down real well.

On the last day I’m going to be at the lake I do something little different. At the end of the day I go through the same routine each time.

Spray the bunks with Vinegar before I load the boat making sure there is no vegetation on them
Open the Livewell drain
Pull into the boat cleaning area and pull the drain plug
Lower the motor and allow it to drain while I’m cleaning the boat
Pick up all the baits on the deck of the boat and throw it in the trash
Wipe down the boat with Peregrine 250 (it also has a chemical that kills Quagga Mussel & Velegers)
Pull the screens out of the livewells
Clean them of all crawdad parts and scales and spray them with vinegar
Clean the livewells making sure I clean out all scales, crawdad parts, sand and debris
I wrap the screens in a dry towel and put them back in the livewell as well as throw another dry towel in the other side. Two reasons for the towels in the livewell, one to have in there so when I stop before I get to the next lake I can wipe out any water that may have burped back through the drain tubes and the other one is when the inspector looks in the livewells and sees a towel their first assumption is it’s dry
Once I’m done I raise the motor back up and down one more time to be sure I have all the water out.
The very last thing I do is put the drain plug back in and dump a gallon of White Vinegar in the floor drain. Driving around sloshes the vinegar around in the bilge and kills anything that may be in there. Before I get on the road to head home I pull the drain plug and let the vinegar and any water left to drain out.

At this point I am confident that I am not accidently transporting any Quagga Mussel. I have gone through the Inspection Stations coming back from both Havasu and Mead several time in the last 2 years and have never had a problem.

I hope this helps.