Zebra Mussels found in Utah for First Time

Thursday (12-4-08) evening the Utah Wildlife Board acted to list Electric Lake, situated in Emery County, Utah about 22 miles west of Huntington City at the headwaters of the Right Fork of the Huntington River as the State’s first water infested with Dreissenid mussels. Zebra mussels have been confirmed via observation of veligers by cross-polarized microscopy followed by molecular PCR analysis using two independent methods, of which one assesses nuclear DNA and the other assesses mitochondrial DNA.


Additionally, the Utah Wildlife Board listed two more Colorado waters as being infested with quagga mussels. Jumbo Reservoir (also known as Julesburg Reservoir), which is 40 miles northeast from the town of Sterling in Logan County, and Tarryall Reservoir, which is 15 miles southeast from the town of Jefferson in Park County, were each determined to be infested with quagga mussels. Recently, Colorado Division of Wildlife identified these waters as infested. 


Additionally, the Utah Wildlife Board was appraised about Arizona’s Salt River Project canals, which receive flows from the Central Arizona Project’s Lake Pleasant, that were recently confirmed as being infested with quagga mussels. This fulfils an anticipated downstream movement of the mussels from Lake Pleasant. The mussels are anticipated to compromise water delivery infrastructure, but no recreational waters receive flow from the Salt River Project canals and the canals are not used for recreational purposes. The Arizona information was not presented for Board action.


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