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ODFW boat inspectors find invasive quagga mussels on motorboat in Ontario

An Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife technician pressure washes a boat found to be contaminated with quagga mussels at a boat inspection station in Ontario, Oregon. ODFW photo. Click for high res photo.
On May 15, 2013, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife boat inspectors discovered about 50 quagga mussels attached to an outboard boat motor. ODFW photo.
Click for high res photo

May 22, 2013

ONTARIO—Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife technicians discovered quagga mussels on a motorboat on May 15 at the Ontario boat inspection station in eastern Oregon. It is the first boat of the 2013 inspection season found to be infested with the invasive mussels.

The boat, which had been in Lake Mead on the Nevada-Arizona border, had about 50 small quagga mussels on the outboard motor. It was decontaminated at the inspection station with a high-pressure hot water cleaning. 

“This is a good reminder to thoroughly clean, drain and dry your boat after leaving any waterbody,” said Rick Boatner, ODFW Invasive Species Coordinator. “If we are going to keep mussels out of the state, all boaters who use the state’s waterways are going to have to do their part.”

According to the Columbia Basin Bulletin, the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, is the “only place on the continent” unaffected by the quagga and zebra mussel invasions that have devastated ecosystems and local economies. The U.S. Geological Survey has a quagga and zebra mussel distribution map on its website.

In addition to quagga and zebra mussels, inspectors are looking for aquatic plants and New Zealand mudsnails.

Boat inspection stations

All vehicles carrying motorized or non-motorized boats (kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, sailboats, etc.) are required to stop at inspection stations. Motorists are alerted to stations by orange “Boat Inspection Ahead” signs followed by a white “Inspection Required for All Watercraft” sign. Failure to stop at an inspection station could result in a $110 fine.

Days and times of operations are subject to change.

  • Ashland:  I-5, Ashland Port of Entry, 2/11/13 – 6/30/13, Tuesday –Saturday, 7/1/13-10/1/13, 7 days a week
  • Klamath Falls: Hwy 97 at Midland Rest Area, 5/16/13 -  9/15, Tuesday -Saturday
  • Lakeview: Hwy 395, south of Lakeview, 5/17/12 - 9/15, Tuesday -Saturday
  • Ontario:  I-84 and Hwy. 20 at Ontario Rest Area, 5/14/13 - 10/1/13, Tuesday –Saturday

Inspections are free, funded by the sale of required Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permits.




Rick Boatner, ODFW Invasive Species Coordinator, (503) 947-6308
Meg Kenagy, ODFW Conservation Communications Coordinator, (503) 947-6021

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