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MD Collaborates with the National Park Service at Glen Canyon National Recreational Area!


Last week Mussel Dogs took to the road for an epic 18 hour drive to the historic Lake Powell for training with the U.S. National Park Service! We want to thank the NPS again for kindly hosting us, offering permitted fresh mussel veliger samples for our training, and for taking us out for a wonderful boat ride! As we enjoyed the out- ing, however, it was impossible to miss the thick bands of razor sharp quagga and zebra mussels that ringed the entire lakeshore. Scientists estimate their density to be up to 700,000 per square yard in some places and that’s how it looked to us, at times here! Read our press release and see our adventure below!


A Dog’s Nose Knows Mussel detection dogs deploy to Train on microscopic veligers at Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National

Recreational Area!

Muscling across U.S. waters, invasive Eurasian mussel expansion represents one of the Nation’s largest natural resource management and invasive species challenges, conservatively estimated in the billions of dollars each year. Scientists and engineers call quagga and zebra mussels “biofoulers”, because they displace native species, and coat and clog everything in their path creating dangerous razor sharp lake shores and boat hulls while clogging boat motors and the potential to clog Glen Canyon Dam pipes! To date, the only practicable management strategy has been a combination of public education and contaminated boat intervention, as they are the mussels best friend and conduit for spreading to other waterways! Enter the Mussel Dogs.

Mussel Dogs is a California based small business that deploys dog teams across the U.S. West to detect these mussels on boats before they’re allowed to launch in public lakes and reservoirs. On April 17-18, eight of Mussel Dog’s elite K9s trained with the help of National Park Service employees at Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in the detection of veligers. Veligers are the microscopic larvae stage of the mussels. The training involved pouring a very highly diluted sample of 34-200 microscopic veligers into everything from small, air-tight plastic trays underneath pallets, to trailer-lifted test boats’ outboard motors in a paved testing area far removed from the lake, as well as a kayak hull atop a large SUV. As Colleen Allen, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for the National Park Service at Lake Powell, attests, “ It is remarkable to see the dogs at work.Their ability to detect the veliger in the water elevates the inspection process to another level!”

Mussel Dogs would like to thank the National Park Service team at Lake Powell for their hospitality, resources and assistance with this vital training. As a public service reminder, please be sure to CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY your boats after each outing to help us protect our waters from invasive mussels!

It’s a great reminder to CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY your boat after each outing! MD

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