Five boats carrying invasive mussels intercepted at Ruedi Reservoir
Five boats carrying invasive Quagga mussels were intercepted in the first five days that the public boat ramp was open at Ruedi Reservoir, according to authorities.
Four of the five boats had most recently come from Lake Powell, which has been infested with mussels for years, according to a notice from the Ruedi Water and Power Authority.
Two of the boats were decontaminated and allowed to enter the reservoir. The three other boats are currently detained for decontamination.
The discovery emphasizes the importance of a watercraft inspection program that has been undertaken at Ruedi Reservoir since 2008. The program wasn’t fully funded during all hours of operation at the boat ramp until 2018 due to lack of funding. The program is intended to keep the waterway free of the invasive mussels.
The program is sponsored by the Ruedi Water and Power Authority in coordination with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Rocky Mountain Recreation Co. is contracted to operate the inspection program.
CPW personnel are overseeing the decontamination of the three boats that were detained.
Colorado is one in a handful of states that has waterways free of mussels. Larvae were found in Green Mountain Reservoir in 2017 but an adult population has not been confirmed.
The Aspen School District could collect an extra $1.2-1.5 million in tax dollars annually as a result of the district switching to local funding in fiscal year 2023-2024.