MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Just days into Oregon’s first season of mandatory boat inspections, Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have already discovered two watercraft carrying invasive mussels.
Last year, when the program was voluntary, inspectors found six boats all season with quagga or zebra mussels. The mussels have already invaded the Great Lakes and other American waterways, causing millions of dollars in damage by clogging water systems and jamming navigational locks. State officials fear they’ll take hold in Oregon rivers and lakes.
Inspectors in southern Oregon found a boat infected with quagga mussels picked up from Lake Havasu in Arizona. Crews in La Grande discovered zebra mussels on a boat from Saginaw Bay, Mich.
The Medford Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/IQDvCE ) that the Oregon Legislature voted last year to make invasive species inspections mandatory for all vessels.