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Our Services

Watercraft inspections to prevent the spread of quagga and zebra mussels

Watercraft Inspection

Environmental consulting on fighting invasive species of waterways with trained Mussel Dogs

Environmental Consulting

Education and Outreach services for preventing the spread of quagga and zebra mussels using trained dogs

Education and Outreach

Watercraft Inspection

Paw print for watercraft inspection
Watercraft Insp

Inspect Watercraft To Prevent The Spread Of Quagga And Zebra Mussels

Once introduced into an ecosystem, quagga and zebra mussels are nearly impossible to eliminate. The cost of fighting these invasive species at water-consuming plants and facilities is staggering. Mussel Dogs is qualified in the detection of quagga and zebra mussels and offers utility, water agency and lake management professionals two alternative inspection protocols:

• Human inspectors

• Canine & handler inspection teams

Your Customers’ Satisfaction Is Our Concern Too

Mussels on a boat propeller

Mussel Dogs will help you determine where and when inspections for these aquatic invasive species should take place, and whether it would be more practical to utilize human inspectors or canine/handler inspections. Mussel Dogs will take into consideration the number of watercraft that enter inspection stations, and how quickly and efficiently they can be inspected. Mussel Dogs will ALWAYS follow invasive species regulations established by the waterbody authority.

Environ Consult

Environmental Consulting

Paw print for environmental consulting

Quagga And Zebra Mussels Harm The Environment And Infrastructure

Since their appearance in the United States in 1988, quagga and zebra mussels have caused irreparable damage to the environment, and millions of dollars of damage to US infrastructure. In addition to fouling systems on watercraft, these invasive species have damaged harbors, waterways, water treatment plants, and power plants by attaching themselves to water intake pipes and spawning free-swimming larvae that are delivered directly into these facilities. The spread of quagga and zebra mussels is accelerated by watercraft and other marine vessels.

The Threats Posed By Quagga And Zebra Mussels

By slowing the spread of invasive species, Mussel Dogs helps ensure that water is fit for drinking, farming, recreation, and for fish and wildlife. These invasive species will impact the economic security of California's industrial and commercial businesses due to the potential restriction of water flow in heat exchangers, condensers, fire suppression systems, cooling water systems and more. Once quagga and zebra mussels have been introduced into a system they are basically impossible to eradicate.

Detection And Prevention

Mussel Dogs Consulting Services evaluates lake management’s current programs, facilities and infrastructure to develop comprehensive plans to inspect watercraft for the presence of quagga and zebra mussels. Our clients trust Mussel Dogs Consulting Services to modify and monitor environmental management plans to achieve efficient, boater-friendly inspections. Mussel Dogs implements the best practices of federal, state and municipal agencies to minimize the invasive species impact of quagga and zebra mussels. Contact Mussel Dogs today for Consulting Services!

Education and Outreach

Paw print for Mussel Dogs education and outreach
Educat Outreach

Education Is Key To Stopping Aquatic Invasive Species

Inspections are ineffective without boater participation and education. Mussel Dogs believes strongly that boater education is THE foremost way to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. That is why Mussel Dogs concentrates on educating the public as well as the client.

Boater Education

Mussel Dogs makes a point to educate boaters during inspections for quagga and zebra mussels. Engaging the boater during inspection activities is an opportune time to explain the importance of preventing the spread of quagga and zebra mussels and the steps they can take to stop the spread of these aquatic invasive species. Education campaigns include: “CLEAN DRAIN DRY”, “Don’t Move a Mussel”, and “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers”. The boaters are also given instruction on what to do when exiting a waterway including:

  • Removing all plants and animal material

  • Pulling all drain plugs and draining water from all areas of the watercraft

  • Emptying all buckets, live-wells, and other water-holding equipment and DRYING

  • Checking all ropes, anchors, fishing equipment, water toys, etc. for the presence of mussels

  • Disposing of all bait in trash receptacle not adjacent to a waterway

  • Washing the hull of the watercraft thoroughly, preferably with high-pressured, warm water

  • Inspecting all exposed surfaces visually and manually by running your hand to feel for the mussels, which feel like sandpaper or velcro

  • Making sure there is NO water in the outboard unit, bilge area, live well, etc. (most watercraft are denied entrance due to any standing water)

We are also willing to offer public education classes to help further educate the public on the importance of preventing the spread of quagga and zebra mussels.

Training And Education On Quagga And Zebra Mussels

Mussel Dogs is also happy to provide onsite training classes to educate staff and inspectors for these aquatic invasive species. These classes follow the WID Level 1 trainings. Completion of the course qualifies graduates to perform onsite inspections. Classes cover many topics including:

  • The importance of preventing the spread of quagga and zebra mussels

  • The ecological and financial impact these mussels have caused

  • The actual inspection process

  • The importance of boater education during the inspection process

  • Boat anatomy

  • Mussel biology

As always, Mussel Dogs is proud to recognize all standard practices and guidelines set forth by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 100th Meridian Initiative, and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Please contact us for all your education and training purposes for these aquatic invasive species.

Mussels attaching to boat anchor

Student Education

Mussel Dogs has put together an educational program for students in the classroom teaching them about the importance of their part in keeping aquatic invasive species from spreading. And of course includes a demonstration by one of our exceptional Mussel Dogs.

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