Colorado waters test free of invasive mussels; Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan approved

Solitary Boat on John Martin Reservoir

 

Colorado has mandatory boating inspection regulations in place to help monitor that mussels do not cross state lines.

DENVER – After three consecutive years of negative testing, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has removed Green Mountain Reservoir in Summit County from the positive waters list for quagga mussels, a prohibited aquatic nuisance species (ANS). As Green Mountain Reservoir was the only body of water in Colorado suspected of having a population of quagga mussels, this de-listing makes Colorado a completely negative state for both zebra and quagga mussels.

While Colorado is once again completely free of invasive mussels, the threat of zebra or quagga mussels entering Colorado from another infested state is still quite real. Boaters using infested waters must take extra care not to transport mussels across state lines and to comply with Colorado’s mandatory inspection regulations. 

 
State of Colorado Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan Approved

On December 10, 2020, the national Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force approved the State of Colorado Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Management Plan to protect Colorado waterways from invasive species. 

The management plan was originally conceptualized in 2006 and has been collaboratively developed by CPW staff, the Colorado ANS Task Force and by ANS experts and stakeholders across the state. 

“The approval of this plan is a significant milestone in ANS program history because it sets a clear path forward on how we can prevent and manage aquatic nuisance species in Colorado,” said Reid DeWalt, CPW’s assistant director for aquatic, terrestrial and natural resources. “Invasive species have the potential to cause significant irreversible environmental impacts. The ANS management plan includes a coordinated prevention plan to keep Colorado’s waters free of ANS and a rapid response strategy that is designed to quickly contain new populations that may establish. This aims to minimize negative impacts on human safety, our wildlife populations and our native ecosystems.”

In an effort to balance outdoor recreation with mindful conservation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife requires boaters to purchase an ANS Stamp when registering a boat in Colorado to help protect state waters. ​The stamp ​provides approximately half of the funding needed to run the ANS Program operations annually, which includes watercraft inspection and decontamination services, monitoring of state waters and management of existing populations.

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