11 boats infested with invasive mussels intercepted in Colorado this year

DENVER — Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind people to check their boats.

The agency said 11 boats infested with zebra and quagga mussels have been intercepted this year.

Officials said the mussels are among the worst invasive species in the nation and they’re working to keep them out of Colorado waters.

Some recent infested boats were intercepted before launching at Blue Mesa, Boulder, Chatfield, Horsetooth and McPhee reservoirs, officials stated.

The infested boats came to Colorado from Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Texas and Utah.

Many of the intercepted boats belong to Colorado residents who take them out of state and then return home with invasive mussels attached, officials said.

The mussels can clog water infrastructure to homes, farms and businesses. They also reduce water quality, disrupt the food chain and harm fisheries, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

State regulations require boaters to clean, drain and dry boats when entering and leaving any lake or reservoir.