Quagga/Zebra mussel inspection training to be offered in Placer County | SierraSun.com

Quagga/Zebra mussel inspection training to be offered in Placer County

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will provide free training in Quagga/Zebra mussel vessel inspection on Feb. 6 in Placer County. The class is open to boaters, water managers, marina operators, state and local agency representatives and others who recreate in, access or otherwise use Californiaand#8217;s waterways. Participants will learn about the threat of invasive mussels and ways in which they can help stop the spread.

The training will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sportsmanand#8217;s Warehouse, 6640 Lonetree Blvd. in Rocklin. Hosted by Sportsmanand#8217;s Warehouse and the California BASS Federation Nation, the class will be taught by DFGand#8217;s Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Jason Roberts. Boaters aged 16-17 may attend, if they are accompanied by an adult. Participants are asked to pre-register by sending an e-mail to Roberts at jdroberts@dfg.ca.gov or calling (916) 358-2895 by Friday, Jan. 29.

Quagga mussels were first detected in the Colorado River system in January 2007 and were later found in San Diego and Riverside counties by state and local water agencies. Zebra mussels were discovered in San Justo Reservoir in San Benito County in January 2008.

Both species of mussel are non-native aquatic mollusks that wreak havoc on the environment by disrupting the natural food chain and releasing toxins that affect other aquatic species. Although they range in size from microscopic to the size of a fingernail, they are prolific and attach themselves to hard and soft surfaces. Zebra mussels inhabit water depths from 4 to 180 feet, while Quagga can reach depths more than 400 feet.

Both mollusks can attach to and damage boat trailers, cooling systems, boat hulls and steering equipment; when contaminated boats are moved from one water body to another, the mussels are transported as well.

Water in boat engines, bilges, live wells and buckets can also carry mussel larvae to other water bodies.

To date, DFG has conducted or assisted in the training of more than 1,000 people around the state in inspection and decontamination for Quagga/Zebra mussels. A toll-free number, (866) 440-9530, has been established for boaters and anyone involved with activities on lakes and rivers seeking information on the invasive and destructive Quagga mussels.

For more information on the Quagga/Zebra mussel response, please visit the DFG website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/quaggamussel.