Lake Havasu Field Office staff educate the public on aquatic invasives

On November 14, the aquatic invasive species team at the Lake Havasu Field Office gave a presentation to a group of Cub Scouts from Nevada. This presentation is part of a BLM program to educate the public on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species from BLM-managed lands along the lower Colorado River. In addition to educating the public on how to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, the team will soon begin offering watercraft decontaminations for boaters on the Parker Strip on the California side of the Colorado River.

a group of people gathered around a picnic shelter
Sean McNearney, William Warner, Danny Pollard, and Garrett Nickum giving a presentation to a Cub Scout troop from Nevada at Takeoff Point on Lake Havasu.

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as quagga mussels cause untold ecological and economic damage across the country. Many state and federal agencies are now implementing inspection and decontamination programs to stop their spread. The biggest hurdle to preventing the spread of AIS is boater education and buy in. Recreational boaters that travel from state to state pose the greatest threat but can decrease this threat by following Clean, Drain, Dry protocols and getting their vessel decontaminated when necessary.

Two people use a pressure washer to clean a boat
Lake Havasu Field Office staff learn to decontaminate a boat

To provide inspection and decontamination services to recreational boaters on the Parker Strip, the AIS team received training from Kate Steighler, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s AIS Program Coordinator. The team will be using a hot water pressure washer to kill quagga mussels and other AIS to prevent them from spreading to other bodies of water. This program will allow boaters to enjoy the waters of the lower Colorado River without infecting their home waters or anywhere else they take their watercraft.