The invasive species Quagga mussels have been discovered in Deer Creek Reservoir in Utah. That poses a special risk to Wyoming’s Flaming Gorge Reservoir, which is only 200 miles away.
Quagga mussels are an invasive aquatic species which have been spreading across the United States since 1989. They can clog power-plant intakes and starve local species of food.
Wes Gordon is an Aquatic Invasive Species specialist with the Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department, and says while Wyoming is currently mussel free, the risk of infestation is growing.
“I would say there’s more than just Flaming Gorge," says Gordon. "We’ve also got Fontenelle which is the reservoir above Flaming Gorge on the Green River. There’s also reservoirs like Viva Naughton which is around the Kemmerer area, and Sulfur Creek which in the Evanston area. They’re all at risk.”
Gordon says for Wyoming to stay free of the mussels boaters coming from out of state need to drain, clean, and dry all of their equipment.