Mussels can be a toxic threat to lakes and reservoirs. With more lakes getting infested with them around the state of California, San Luis Obispo County officials are stepping up mussel prevention efforts this Labor Day weekend.

“We are happy to say we don’t have infested bodies of water here in San Luis Obispo County,” said Danielle Ruedas, mussel prevention coordinator for San Luis Obispo County.

San Luis Obispo County officials are on high alert after a boater this month tried to launch with hundreds of quagga and zebra mussels attached to his vessel.

“There was no threat there because we had a mussel screener stop the vessel,” Ruedas said.

A sigh of relief, because if those mussels would have hit the water, Lake Nacimiento would never be the same.

“Basically it would be like a ghost town lake once it gets labeled as an infested lake,” Ruedas said.

Once a lake is labeled infested, fishing no longer exists, lake-side properties drop drastically in value and most boaters avoid coming.

“It would have a big effect on this lake and our local economy,” Ruedas said.

With hundreds of boaters expected this Labor Day weekend, the inspection line will be much longer.

“It’s going to be a very long process, some boat inspections can take up to 45 minutes,” Ruedas said.

To speed up the process, boaters are urged to make sure their vessels are clean, drained and dry and to have their paperwork ready. San Luis Obispo County officials say it’s incredibly important for all boats to keep their permit with them on the water. If you’re caught without your permit, you could be looking at a fine of up to $2,000.

For more information on quagga and zebra mussels, visit the Division of Boating and Waterways website or call the toll-free mussel hotline at (866) 440-9530.

Posted: Aug 27, 2017 4:15 PM PDTUpdated: Aug 28, 2017 6:14 AM PDT

By Angel Russell,

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