Quagga and zebra mussels are an invasive mussel that, if introduced into a waterway, can devastate the natural environment, clog water and flood protection infrastructure, and cost millions of dollars in maintenance. Mussels are transported between waterways by watercraft, primarily recreational boats. Trained canines can detect microscopic mussel larvae and more efficient than human inspectors.
The Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) has coordinated a successful watercraft inspection program at Lake Mendocino since 2008. The project includes adopting a Resolution ratifying and approving the signing and filing of grant applications to the California Department of Parks and Recreation Division of Boating and Waterways. If the grant is awarded, the funds would be used to provide watercraft inspection services and increase the hours of canine watercraft inspections on peak boating days to prevent quagga and zebra mussel infestation into Lake Mendocino. The funds would also provide inspection training, education, and outreach activities, and would coordinate with qualified consultants to help develop year-round inspections.