Water agency officials in Sonoma County are asking recreational boaters to help prevent the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels in the region's waterways.
The Sonoma County Water Agency and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors have joined the North Coast Zebra and Quagga Mussel Consortium to help increase public awareness and start prevention programs to keep the
"Once infested with mussels, a reservoir could be closed to all boating recreation, which would be a devastating blow to out local economy," Water Agency Director and County Supervisor Mike McGuire said in a statement.
The mussels are typically spread on recreational boats that go uninspected, McGuire said.
Mussel infestations clog water pipes, affect the supply of drinking water, clog intake pipes at fisheries, and create a financial burden on local agencies by the need to continuously manage the problem.
"We are calling on all recreational boaters and members of the public that recreate on a waterway - Don't move a mussel," Supervisor Shirlee Zane said in a statement. "Ensure your watercraft is clean, drained and dry before launching it."
Informational inspection cards for boaters and more information on mussels are available online at www.dontmoveamussel.com.
— Bay City News