Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

What happens if invasive mussels are found in Flaming Gorge?

The 2012 discovery of adult quagga mussels in Lake Powell has heightened our concern for other reservoirs around our state — especially large reservoirs visited often by boaters. In response, the local, state and federal agencies that help manage Flaming Gorge Reservoir (FGR) have coordinated in advance of a positive quagga detection (hopefully we never have one there!) to expedite containment actions that will protect our other regional and state waters if a positive finding were ever to occur in FGR.

The Rapid Response and Control Plan lays out actions that agencies will take before mussels are found (and immediately upon detection) in a waterbody to improve reaction time. Below are the main points from this document.

You can read the document in its entirety here.

We are asking you, concerned water users, to review these points and provide us with feedback, knowing that we will be moving forward on this document. Our ability to respond to some comments may be limited as we are required to contain quagga and zebra mussels upon detection at a water in the state; however, we can’t think of everything and there may be some great ideas out there that we haven’t considered.

Please review these points and let us know what you think, even if it’s to say you agree or disagree with our approach. Again, we are required by law to contain infestations so we may not respond to your comment how you’d like, but we will read through them all and would very much appreciate your feedback.

Flaming Gorge Reservoir Rapid Response Summary

If Dreissenid mussels are confirmed, the following may occur:

(1) Temporary closure order: Under authority of Utah Rule R657-60-8, the Response Team will pursue the closure of the reservoir until the Control Plan has been implemented. During a closure order, boat access to the reservoir will be temporarily restricted. This temporary closure may last up to five weeks while the following are occurring (see below):

Note: these processes are not cumulative. They will take place as needed and may be implemented simultaneously.

(2) Partial closure of reservoir: Once the Control Plan has been     implemented and the threat assessed, the temporary closure order will be lifted, and a partial closure of the reservoir may then ensue:

The precautions and steps listed above, while helping to prevent the spread of invasive mussels, will also minimize waiting times for boaters ready to launch or exit the area, reduce confusion regarding both Utah and Wyoming AIS laws and aid boaters in complying with those laws.

Please use the comment feature on the blog post to share feedback. Thank you for the input!