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Zebra mussels from Texas found during boat inspection

Monday, July 6, 2015

SALEM, Ore – Last week, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife boat inspectors in Ashland discovered invasive Zebra mussels on a boat being hauled from Texas to Auburn, Washington. Zebra mussels range in size from microscopic to two inches long and can survive up to 21 days out of water depending on temperature and humidity.

Of the nearly 5,000 inspections done at stations around Oregon’s borders, this was the ninth contaminated boat detected this season. Leslie Bliss-Ketchum, Assistant Coordinator for the Oregon Invasive Species Council (OISC) says that launching even one boat contaminated with zebra mussels could spell disaster. 

“Invasive species like the zebra mussel cause billions of dollars in ecological and economic damage in areas where they are introduced. Through the efforts of programs like the boat inspection stations, the Pacific Northwest has been able to keep these invaders from spreading to the region,” Bliss-Ketchum said.

The OISC was in nearby Central Point at a quarterly meeting and was able to observe the inspection process. The OISC also visited local invasive species project sites and learned more about other efforts such as monitoring for the emerald ash borer beetle, controlling aquatic weeds in southwestern Oregon, and responding to invasive gypsy moths in Grants Pass.

About the Oregon Invasive Species Council

The OISC is a group of representatives from state and public agencies, scientists, educators and members of the public who lead Oregon’s fight against the threat of invasive plants and animals. They collaborate with a wide group of people to spearhead initiatives to increase citizen understanding and involvement in protecting the state against the harms of invasive species.

Activities of the council include: the Annual Oregon Invasive Species Report Card, Top 100 Worst Invasive Species List, in addition to support of popular invasive species educational campaigns that promote a collective knowledge of how to protect Oregon, online reporting system for people to report suspected sightings of invasive species, and a variety of information and outreach programs.  The council was created by the Oregon legislature in 2001 and receives funding through a variety of state, federal and private donations.




Wyatt Williams, OISC Chair – 503-945-7472
Leslie Bliss-Ketchum, OISC – 503-481-6753
Rick Boater, ODFW – 503-947-6308

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