Archive for April, 2013

This year’s regional lake conference –Lake and Watershed Management at the Local Level – presented speakers from Washington and Idaho government agencies, universities, business and individuals who addressed a number of issues that threaten our lakes and watersheds and disussed what we can do to manage and protect them for future generations.

Of special concern is the spread of zebra and quagga mussels into lakes and rivers across the country where they can clog pipes, boats, motors, fishing gear and recreational equipment.  The mussels are spread by boats that have been used in mussel-contaminated waters and transported to other lakes and rivers without being thoroughly cleaned.  Quagga mussels were first found in the Great Lakes in the 1980s, brought in by commercial ships, and by 2007 were found in Lake Mead and the Colorado River system. 

So far, quagga mussels have not been found in Washington and Idaho waters.  The Idaho Department of Agriculture has taken a leadership role and opened mandatory boat inspection stations across the state to stop mussel-contaminated boats from entering.  Prevention is the key.  Each time a boat is retrieved from the water it must be cleaned and dried, bilge water drained.  Quagga mussels are tiny with floating larvae, so a visual inspection is not enough.  The Idaho Department of Agriculture urges all boat owners to be responsible when trailering boats from lake to lake.

Loon Lake Land Conservancy was one of many sponsors of the conference, and several board members attended.

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