2 Lake Pleasant boaters ticketed for 'contaminated boats'

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- "It's essential that boaters clean, drain and dry their boats each and every time they go boating anywhere, any time.”

That is the advice given by Tom McMahon, the invasive species coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

This after citations were issued to two people who brought boats contaminated with quagga mussels to Lake Powell, and citations are pending in a third case.

The mussels were discovered before the boats went out, but one of the boats had mussels on its anchor, which many people forget to clean, and the boat owner neglected to remove the plug before leaving Lake Pleasant, which is another violation.

Those two incidents demonstrate why boaters coming from lakes such as Pleasant, Mead, Mohave and Havasu that are infested with quagga mussels need to be conscientious about taking legally required proper precautions so they don't move these invasive mollusks to an unaffected water, such as Powell or Bartlett Lake.

"Quite simply it is against the law in Arizona to transport quagga or zebra mussels and those found doing so can and probably will be cited," McMahon said.

The procedures, according to Game and Fish, are simple and straightforward. Before leaving the vicinity of an aquatic invasive species listed water, such as Pleasant, Mead, Mohave or Havasu, the law requires that you:

Step 1: Clean and remove any clinging material such as plants, animals and mud from anchor, boat, motor and trailer.

Step 2: Pull your plug and drain the water from the bilge, livewell and any other compartments that could hold water. Also be sure to drain the water from the engine and engine cooling system.

Step 3: Ensure your watercraft and equipment are allowed to dry completely and out of the water for a minimum of seven days.

For more details on rules, click on www.azgfd.gov/ais.