Wildlife News

Sand Hollow decontamination change

HURRICANE — Effective immediately, boats leaving Sand Hollow State Park do not need to be decontaminated for invasive species.

You no longer have to get your boat decontaminated as you leave Sand Hollow Reservoir.

You no longer have to get your boat decontaminated as you leave Sand Hollow Reservoir.

Photo by Lynn Chamberlain

Located in Hurricane, Sand Hollow State Park is a popular destination for boaters and anglers. They come to the park to enjoy its warm water, great fishing and beautiful scenery.

Mussel found in 2010

In May 2010, a single adult quagga mussel was found on a boat dock at Sand Hollow Reservoir.

To prevent mussels from spreading to other waters, a control plan was put in place. The plan required boaters to have their boats professionally decontaminated by Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks personnel before leaving the park.

Jordan Nielson, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the DWR, says the DWR and the Washington County Water Conservancy District also started extensive monitoring at the reservoir. "We wanted to know how far the mussels might have spread," he says.

After monitoring for more than three years, Nielson has good news: No additional mussels have been found.

"For that reason," he says, "professional decontamination is no longer required before your boat leaves the park."

Remember to clean, drain and dry

Right now, Lake Powell is the only boating water in Utah that has quagga mussels in it. After boating on Lake Powell, you must do the following:

  • Before you leave the vicinity of the lake, you must start the decontamination process by doing two things: Cleaning any mud, debris or shells from your boat, and draining all of the lake water from your bilges, ballast tanks and engines.
  • You must complete the final step — drying your boat the required amount of time — before placing it on any body of water in Utah. The times are as follows:

    Months Dry time
    March, April and May 18 days
    June, July and August 7 days
    September, October and November 18 days
    December, January and February 30 days

  • Another option is to have your boat decontaminated by a professional. Personnel with the DWR and Utah State Parks will perform this service for free. If your boat is professionally decontaminated, you can place it on a body of water in Utah immediately.

To find a location that has a decontamination unit, call the nearest DWR regional aquatic invasive species biologist. He or she will let you know which location is closest to you. Contact information for the biologists is available online.

Instructions on how to properly clean, drain and dry your boat are also available online.

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