Zebra mussels are native to Russia, but spread to the Great Lakes in the late 1980s, and have been making their way west since then. Last January, they were found in Lake Pueblo â   their first known incursion into Colorado. The Boulder Reservoir will be off-limits to large boats until April 3 in an effort to keep the lake safe from the invasive species.
Zebra mussels are native to Russia, but spread to the Great Lakes in the late 1980s, and have been making their way west since then. Last January, they were found in Lake Pueblo â their first known incursion into Colorado. The Boulder Reservoir will be off-limits to large boats until April 3 in an effort to keep the lake safe from the invasive species.

BOULDER, Colo. –

For the next few weeks, the Boulder Reservoir will be off-limits to large boats in an effort to keep the lake safe from zebra mussels, an invasive species.

The mussels are native to Russia, but spread to the Great Lakes in the late 1980s, and have been making their way west since then. Last January, they were found in Lake Pueblo — their first known incursion into Colorado.

Betty Solek, the city’s water quality planner, said the tiny shelled species can wreak havoc on lakes’ ecosystems, where they lack any natural predators. A single female can have a million offspring in a year, she said.

“They attach to hard surfaces, and those include boats, they include dams, they include water intake structures, they include inside the pipes and the inside of pumps,” she said.

Their razor-sharp shells can make beaches unwalkable, she said. They’re nearly impossible to kill, and once they’re established, the mussels alter lakes’ balance of algae.

“That can cause taste and odor problems in the water supply,” she said. “And that can get very expensive on the water-quality side.”

When the mussels do die, their corpses pile up and stink, she said.

“They’ve got something bad for everybody,” she said.

Paul Bousquet, a spokesman for the Parks and Recreation Department, which manages the reservoir, said officials are taking steps to keep the critters out of their waters.

Since last Friday, all large watercraft — defined as any boat that requires a trailer –have been banned from the reservoir for a quarantine period that will last until April 3. The quarantine is meant to give the boats plenty of time to dry off and for any mussels they’re harboring to die off, Bousquet said.

During that three-week period, all boaters with permits to be at the reservoir will be asked to come in for an inspection and quarantine.

Smaller boats — like kayaks, canoes or wind-surfing boards — will be allowed on the water during the quarantine, but might be subject to inspection.

Once the quarantine is over, all boats entering the reservoir, including small craft, will be required to buy permits. Large boats might be required to undergo decontamination using a new facility the reservoir might put up in the next few weeks using funds from a state bill meant to stop the mussels’ spread, Bousquet said.

Smaller boats — like kayaks — will likely go through a quicker inspection, he said.

“It will be a change for people to get used to,” he said. “In the past, you’ve been able to show up and get on the water” without any delays.

But Bill DeLaCroix, who’s had his boat at the reservoir for 19 years, said he thinks most boaters will support the new procedures. Most people who keep their boats at the reservoir tend to stay there — and so they won’t be impacted by requirements that apply to boaters who skip from lake to lake, he said.

“I think it makes sense,” he said. “Most people I know don’t want to see the reservoir polluted with those things.”

Contact Camera Staff Writer Ryan Morgan at 303-473-1333 or morganr@dailycamera.com.

Archived comments

See what you have done you boaters you.Get off the res.

thesurfrider

3/14/2009 12:48:02 PM

I think we can all agree that anyone who goes boating in Boulder must be a complete tool.

NukesInBoulder

3/14/2009 1:29:14 PM

“think we can all agree that anyone who goes boating in Boulder must be a complete tool.”

Likewise to anyone who goes running, mountain climbing or biking.

Once again, the tolerance of the hypocrites of Boulder rears its ugly head.

tiredofchoirpreachers

3/14/2009 3:32:23 PM

tolerance?

tolerance for noisy, polluting, mussel-infesting piles of carbon-breathing toys that belong on an ocean — maybe? —

tolerance?

please…

please, please, please

Robert_Paul_Smoke

3/14/2009 5:04:32 PM

Yes Mr Smoke, tolerance. Whether you’d like to believe it or not, MANY of us “true” Boulderites have used Boulder reservoir long before you even thought of moving to Boulder from New York in search of trying to change peoples ways of life as YOU think it should be. You just reinforce my simple statement above even more. Quite obviously tolerance to you only fits your narcisstic view of the world as you see it. What a shame.

tiredofchoirpreachers

3/14/2009 5:58:09 PM

Wading birds, geese, ducks, etc. can carry the Zebra Mussel and larvae in the mud that sticks to their feet. Birds were found to transplant the Asiatic Clam by the same method.

What are you gonna do about that?? :[

MayorMfumbo

3/14/2009 6:44:38 PM

I think all of us clear-headed folks can agree on who the real tools are.

Dr_Belfrey

3/14/2009 6:55:35 PM

“See what you have done you boaters you. Get off the res.”

The boater’s haven’t done anything. The whole point is to make sure they don’t.

confusionwitak

3/14/2009 7:09:25 PM

Time to close the rez to motorboats…permanently

bctc@comcast.net

3/14/2009 9:33:19 PM

One man’s plague is another man’s appetizer.

orbison

3/14/2009 10:02:24 PM

Narcissist in a green hat-

http://bp2.blogger.com/_-vVwYnTSL7s/Rvym9YX7dLI/AAAAAAAAAAM/BcvPHiy9JRs/S240/robsmoke%5B1%5D+(2).jpg

tiredofchoirpreachers

3/14/2009 11:03:05 PM

since when is the boulder reservoir a natural ecosystem?If you a truly concerned with that particular natural ecosystem, you’d get rid of the reservoir.

The reality is that you should be enforcing cleaner boats where it really does matter – in real ecosystems, not fake lakes.

bouldermeister

3/15/2009 6:55:29 AM

orbi, you need wodka to suffer through these.

“It will be a change for people to get used to,” he said. “In the past, you’ve been able to show up and get on the water” without any delays.

All boats should be quarantined for 72 hours minimum, cause once these little critters get established it is impossible to remove them without killing everything in the water.

Hey maybe it would kill the boats.

thesurfrider

3/15/2009 7:03:02 AM

…The boater’s haven’t done anything…

Really,…did those little ol mussels walk from the Great Lakes to Lake Pueblo?

thesurfrider

3/15/2009 7:08:58 AM

Why risk destroying the res just so so dumb fat people can plug around on boats?

Get rid of the boats for good save the res..

sidd

3/15/2009 8:13:28 AM

bouldermeister is 100% correct.Anyone who thinks nearly any of the lakes around here are ‘natural ecosystems’ is the real tool.170 years ago the total surface area of every ‘lake’ east of the foothills from Denver to Fort Collins wouldn’t add up to one Boulder Reservoir.

moabite

3/15/2009 8:21:09 AM

Meister

Don’t drink the water.

thesurfrider

3/15/2009 8:22:35 AM

“bouldermeister is 100% correct. Anyone who thinks nearly any of the lakes around here are ‘natural ecosystems’ is the real tool.”

A couple of 100% pointless comments. Try reading the article.

Dr_Johnson

3/15/2009 8:24:04 AM

Dr’s_Johnson posts are always 100% pointless.

bouldermeister

3/15/2009 8:34:03 AM

Once formed, by whatever means, a body of water can contain a natural ecosystem. So though Boulder Res in not a natural lake, it does, in fact, have a natural ecosystem.

Every time there’s a story about the Res, some dimwit points out it’s not a “natural” lake, something everyone knows.

Since it’s a reservoir, invasion by the mussels, for any reason, has many undesirable and expensive consequences, as anyone who had read the story already knows.

Tools can at least perform useful tasks. Dimwits do not.

Dr_Johnson

3/15/2009 8:42:06 AM

it has an ecosystem, one that was not given to it naturally.And I think that the Original natural ecosystem would take offense to your fake ecosystem.

And, by your definition, once a zebra mussel is added to the ecosystem, then it’s part of the natural ecosystem, so what’s the problem?

bouldermeister

3/15/2009 8:46:57 AM

QED

Dr_Johnson

3/15/2009 8:52:52 AM

I’m sure it’s already too late and the mussels are there.

Elwood

3/15/2009 8:53:26 AM

I am glad you agree that you’ve demonstrated the pointlessness of your posts.

bouldermeister

3/15/2009 8:55:31 AM

What could we possibly mean by a “natural” ecosystem in an artificial lake?

Gosh! Could we mean an ecosystem that resembles the ones in “natural” lakes?

Golly! I bet we could mean that! Could we also mean an ecosystem that persists in a balance without massive intervention from humans?

Gosh! It could mean that, too! Could we mean an ecosystem that has been taken over by an invasive species from elsewhere in the world with many harmful effects for both existing plant and animal life, and for human use?

Only if you’re a dim bulb.

Dr_Johnson

3/15/2009 9:06:41 AM

Most of you here miss the point. Ecosystem or no ecosystem. I have been boating on the reservoir since the late 60’s. The place is the same now as it was then. No, we don’t want zebra mussels to invade. There seems to be easy enough remedies for that. The problem lies with people who had bad childhoods move here from New York 20 years ago and want to start dictating what people have been doing LONG before they came here just so they can go swimming 4 times a year in “clean” water and then call themselves tolerant. HA!

tiredofchoirpreachers

3/15/2009 9:17:39 AM

“The problem lies with people who had bad childhoods move here from New York 20 years ago and want to start dictating what people have been doing LONG before they came here just so they can go swimming 4 times a year in “clean” water and then call themselves tolerant. HA!”

The problem lies with people who don’t like representative government except when it’s doing what they, personally, want.

In fact, there’s nothing in the article suggesting there will be a ban on boating.

Dr_Johnson

3/15/2009 9:30:40 AM

No, there is nothing in the article suggesting there will be a ban on boating. But the article very quickly attracted posters who DO have a boating ban agenda, ie thesurfrider,NukesInBoulder, and Robert_Paul_Smoke who HAS written a ban on boats story recently in this newspaper-

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2008/dec/04/guest-commentary-why-we-should-reclaim-the-res/

That “representative government” has allowed boating on the rez for as long as the rez has been here. Who exactly are the ones trying to change things TO what they personally want FROM what has been the status qou for MANY years all to fit their OWN desires?

The only times I can remember the reservoir shut down was because of Giardia scares, NOT because of boat pollution. I can guarantee you Giardia did not come from the boats.

Enjoy your swim in the “clean” waters of the Boulder reservoir Mr. Smoke.

tiredofchoirpreachers

3/15/2009 12:29:10 PM

Way to flex your muscles Boulder Res.

super_boulder

3/15/2009 1:08:44 PM

Since when has the status quo been a rationale for blocking what the public might want to do with its property at some hypothetical time in the future?

Should we have kept slavery, male-only suffrage, and horse ‘n’ buggies?

Dr_Johnson

3/15/2009 1:23:38 PM

Why is this story so heavily commented on?It would be hard to find a more boring article or topic.

RedWhiteAndBush

3/15/2009 2:17:38 PM

sure, sure, sure…i’m a narcissist in a green hat —

NOT someone in a 30 ft cruiser playing ac/dc on their stereo for the benefit of all —

NOT someone bopping around on a 2-stroke jet ski that puts 30 percent of its fuel into the water —

sure, of course, what could be more clear?

don’t leave out all those narcissistic youngsters who come to the reservoir for a swim in your fuel slick —

of course, your world view is … perfecto!

the ultimate paradigm of truth and justice requires…a mussel infestation ….

great….you got it …

you rule

Robert_Paul_Smoke

3/15/2009 2:41:32 PM

YAWN.Please wake me when this discussion is finally over.Are these mussels edible?Maybe Whole Foods could add them to their seafood selection along with the tofu and algae and all the other gross and weird stuff the tree huggers love.

RedWhiteAndBush

3/15/2009 4:11:20 PM

The most narcissistic one on here seems to be tiredofchoirpreachers.Its a simple argument for me.Zebra mussels present a clear and present danger to people’s ability to enjoy the rez; boats, especially power boats, are the prime vehicle that will bring them here; once here they are nearly impossible to get rid of; so let’s ban power boats.I also happen to swim in the rez dozens of times a year during BAM open water swims and various triathlons and power boats foul the water and surrounding air. Embrace change!

bctc@comcast.net

3/15/2009 4:35:33 PM

tired

Time to get the boats off the rez.You know deep in your unselfish heart it is the right thing to do.The Mussels are high risk and you know that as all.

You have had your way for the last 50 years.Give the rest of us a break.Get your boaty buddies and go up to horsetooth, its not that inconvenient and it’s so big.

thesurfrider

3/15/2009 5:25:49 PM

Hey, you three morons. Did you read my post? The one where I stated the zebra mussels need controlled? Didn’t think so. As per, your too involved with what your going to say next instead of listening to what someone is saying. Common narccisist trait.

It’s real simple. Clean and disinfect your boats before putting them in different lakes. It’s not hard. And Mr. Smoke, nice exaggeration. I can guarentee you jet skis do not put 30% of it’s fuel into the lake.

tiredofchoirpreachers

3/15/2009 6:25:51 PM

Furthermore Mr. Smoke. I find it quite odd that you are concerned about swimming in a perceived “oil slick” yet you go home every night and fill your lungs full of THC. Strange.

tiredofchoirpreachers

3/15/2009 6:45:36 PM

Hey one idiot, get your boats off the res.

And take a nap.Jeepers

thesurfrider

3/15/2009 7:19:13 PM

Can I at least keep my solar powered boat and pedal powered jetski that haven’t left the state?

Kev_H

3/15/2009 10:00:05 PM

U know guys…..Boulder was at one time a means to an end, not an end in itself. It was a place to enjoy yourself, have fun not a place to constantly gripe and argue about. We just, well, went out and ….. had fun!! Get off of the ‘net, meet some people, you know, like….uh….make friends, sing around a campfire, hike, feed the carp in Varsity Lake (or what ever they renamed it, maybe it’s Jesse Jackson lake now) and get……a life.

BoulderOldTimer

3/16/2009 6:39:59 AM

“Furthermore Mr. Smoke. I find it quite odd that you are concerned about swimming in a perceived “oil slick” yet you go home every night and fill your lungs full of THC. Strange.” —

not that it matters, but even if this were the case, I have yet to see the medical certificate for huffing diesel —

other than that, the fact that you pretty much ONLY bolster your argument by launching personal attacks at me, shows that you don’t have a real argument —

there is a website that has stats for jet ski pollution — jet ski pollution is several times the level per user relative to other motor craft —

there is one that lists the 30 percent figure for two-stroke jet skis —

it may be 30 percent into air and water combined, i’ll try to find you the link —

Robert_Paul_Smoke

3/16/2009 11:40:49 AM

http://www.bluewaternetwork.org/campaign_pl_pwc.shtml

above is a link to some descriptive material on jet skis — if they were cars, they would not pass the standard colorado emissions test —

they are also responsible for a hugely disproportionate amount of boating accidents —

Robert_Paul_Smoke

3/16/2009 12:14:30 PM

Tired posted: “think we can all agree that anyone who goes boating in Boulder must be a complete tool.”

Likewise to anyone who goes running, mountain climbing or biking.

Once again, the tolerance of the hypocrites of Boulder rears its ugly head.

Aren’t you being a bit intolerant of the runners, climbers or biking (cycling)?

ecofool

3/16/2009 12:53:58 PM

There are people who actually boat and care about the health of the Boulder Reservoir, in fact, there are several boaters on the res who are involved in making sure the mussels don’t infest the waters… WOW think of that. I boat on the res every summer and before you point your plastic finger, I weigh 100 lbs. I’m not a fat slob, I ride my bike to work every day and out to the res during summer. I have researched zebra mussels to be absolutely certain that the boat we keep there is clean and will remain that way. I feel sorry for the people who jump to conclusions on here insulting anything and everything you can. No matter where you’re from, you live on earth buddy and we share this planet. Get over yourself!

estrada575

3/16/2009 2:29:44 PM

Smoke,

Still trying to find the fabled 30mph electric boat, can’t seem to locate anything that goes over 7.5 mph except a nuke…… Can’t ski behind either one 😉

Surf,

You too could wander up to Horsetooth and do your thing there…..

And if you folks really wanted clear clean water to swim in, there are several pools in Boulder.

skiin_on1

3/16/2009 3:40:32 PM

skinn

too cold at horsetooth for swimming but pefect for boats and jet skis.

It’s so big

thesurfrider

3/16/2009 4:11:18 PM

flying anywhere to see your grandma puts out more pollution than 6 months of daily SUV driving

lets concentrate on the real problem and ban flying…

JakPott

3/17/2009 8:09:01 AM