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Quagga and Zebra Mussel Information

Last Revised: January 9, 2014

What to expect when visiting Lopez Lake or Santa Margarita Lake

Boaters visiting Lopez or Santa Margarita Lakes will find changes to launching procedures intended to protect our local waters from potential infestation by quagga and zebra mussels. This program by SLO County Parks follows the recommendations of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

San Luis Obispo County Parks has been educating park visitors on the Quagga and
Zebra Mussel threat since July of 2007. These tiny mussels are an invasive species that present a negative environmental impact on California’s reservoirs and waterways. They can breed rapidly and can clog pipes and valves posing a threat to municipal water systems, aquatic food chains in lakes, access for fishing and boating, and recreation-based economies.

Based on new protocols, park staff will perform visual inspections on every boat and if any are found to have water in the bilge or live well, or are not clean, they will not be allowed to launch. Boats coming from infected waters will also not be allowed to launch.

CLEAN AND DRY!

Remember when you plan your visit to Lopez or Santa Margarita Lakes to prepare your boat by having it clean and dry for inspection.

What is clean and dry?

  • Drain plugs pulled, no water in bilge, live well or integral coolers.
  • No mud, debris, aquatic weed or algae on hull, trailer or motor.
  • Lower units on boats should be dry-when lowered they should not contain water.

Boats not meeting these criteria will be denied launch. In addition, boats that have been operated on infected waters in Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties, the Colorado River, Lake Mead, Lake Havasu or any other waterbody known to be infected within the last 30 days will be denied entry.

CACHUMA LAKE SECURITY BOAT TAG

  • San Luis Obispo County Parks will accept these tags as proof of inspection & decontamination.
  • However, SLO County Parks tags ARE NOT BEING ACCEPTED at Cachuma Lake at this time.

WAKEBOARD BOAT ADVISORY:
VESSELS WITH INTERNAL BALLAST SYSTEMS ARE REQUIRED TO GO THROUGH A BALLAST DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURE. THIS PROCEDURE IS CONDUCTED BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
PLEASE CALL (805) 788-2385 FOR MORE INFORMATION.

The future of boating in San Luis Obispo County lakes depends on your cooperation and support.  Please help to keep our waters clean and accessible to boaters.

For additional information on the quagga and zebra mussel threat and infected waterways please refer to the following resources:

Map of Quagga and Zebra Mussel Sightings Distribution in California

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

California Department of Water Resources - Environmental Services

 

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY PARKS
1087 SANTA ROSA STREET
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA 93408
805-781-5930
FAX: 805-781-1102
SLOParks@co.slo.ca.us