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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
STOCKTON FWO: Biologists Take Aquatic Invasive Species Workshops on the Road
Region 8, November 15, 2008
Louanne McMartin of the USFWS presents information on non-native invasive species during a boater workshop. (photo: Vivian Matuk, California Coastal Commission/California Dept. of Boating & Waterways) 
Louanne McMartin of the USFWS presents information on non-native invasive species during a boater workshop. (photo: Vivian Matuk, California Coastal Commission/California Dept. of Boating & Waterways)  - Photo Credit: n/a
Workshop students participate in a mock boat inspection. (photo:Vivian Matuk California Coastal Commission/California Dept.of Boating & Waterways)
Workshop students participate in a mock boat inspection. (photo:Vivian Matuk California Coastal Commission/California Dept.of Boating & Waterways) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Paul Cadrett, Stockton FWO
Since the 2007 discovery of quagga and zebra mussels in Lake Mead and later throughout the lower Colorado River basin, the tiny mussels have caused a lot of anxiety for California water and recreational officials. To protect the quality of recreation and aquatic ecosystems from these and other aquatic invasive species (AIS), state and federal biologists are conducting workshops to educate the public about the threats of these aquatic invaders.

 

Working as a team, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Stockton Office Non-native Invasive Species Program (NISP), California Coastal Commission’s Boating Clean and Green Program, California Department of Boating and Waterways, California Department of Fish and Game and the University of California Cooperative Extension – Sea Grant Extension Program, have provided public AIS workshops in northern California. The workshops provide participants with information to gain an understanding of AIS issues and training in preventing the spread of AIS.

 

Aquatic invasive species like quagga and zebra mussels pose a threat to water delivery systems, hydroelectric facilities, agriculture, recreational boating and fishing, and the ecosystem. It is important for boaters, fisherman and others using waterways for recreation or business to learn how to inspect their watercraft, fishing gear and other equipment to prevent the spread of these species into California’s waterways.

 

The biologists targeted recreational boaters, fisherman, marina and yacht club operators, state and local officials to learn about their role in combating AIS. The workshop began with morning presentations focusing on AIS identification as well as economic and ecological impacts. Participants watched the video, “Don’t Move a Mussel” created by Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and USFWS which provided viewers with the background information about quagga and zebra mussel and watercraft inspection and decontamination training. Participants spent the afternoon conducting a mock hands-on watercraft inspection to test their newly acquired skills in locating the tiny mussels in their favorite hiding places.

 

As of November 2008, three workshops have been completed in Stockton, Redding and Eureka, California to cover both inland and costal areas of northern California. Two workshops are being planned for in southern California during the first week of February 2009 in Marina Del Rey and Riverside. For more information contact NISP Biologist, Louanne McMartin at (209) 946-6400.

Contact Info: Paul Cadrett, 209-334-2968 x 312, paul_cadrett@fws.gov