NM Game and Fish warns boaters of Quagga and Zebra mussels

Created: 07/03/2014 6:38 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Quagga and zebra mussels, which are non-native to New Mexico, can do major damage, according to James Dominguez, the aquatic invasive species coordinator for New Mexico Game and Fish.

"Recreational-wise, they're foul smelling, they're sharp edged, so you may not be able to swim as easily as you normally do. Agriculturally, they're going to plug up your pipes and the entire infrastructure for irrigating the fields," he said.

With Lake Mead in Nevada and Lake Powell in Colorado already contaminated with zebra and quagga mussels, some are afraid that it's a matter of time before they hit New Mexico, but James along with Game and Fish are pushing to keep them out and get the word out.

"We have some billboards that have an alien on them. His head is a zebra mussel and we're hoping it catches people's attention," Dominguez said.

You'll see them near Tucumcari, Farmington, on U.S. Highway 550 between Bloomfield and Bernalillo, and also in Socorro.

We're trying to encourage everybody to clean, drain, and dry their water craft anytime they go out whether they leave the state or whether they stay in state. If you clean, drain, and dry, you eliminate the risk of bringing invasive mussels into the state.

New Mexico is one of 7 states that does not have any aquatic invasive mussels in its lakes.

KOB welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the rules of conduct set forth in our Terms of Use. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Use.