New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Rachel Shockley, (505) 476-8071; cell: (505) 470-6832
Public contact: (888) 248-6866



NAVAJO DAM – Invasive mussels are closing in on New Mexico. Quagga mussels have been discovered in nearby Lake Powell by the thousands. The department reminds boaters to clean, drain and dry before transporting their watercraft and equipment to protect New Mexico waters from the invaders.

“We have not found any invasive mussels in our state’s reservoirs,” said James Dominguez, the Department’s Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator. “Zebra and quagga mussels have colonized waters in the states surrounding New Mexico and the department needs boaters and anglers to help protect our water bodies from infestation.”

Mussels and their microscopic larvae can survive long after a watercraft has left a water body. Open all compartments and air-dry watercraft leaving positive waters for up to 30 days. Contact the department at (888) 248-6866 to learn if a watercraft will need to be decontaminated before being launched or to schedule the decontamination. The department will inspect and decontaminate watercraft free of charge.

Boaters can check which waters in neighboring states have quagga and zebra mussels by using the map of states with positive waters on the department website, For more information about the length of time needed to dry boats, please visit the 100th Meridian Initiative website at

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels multiply rapidly and spread to new waters by adhering to boats and other equipment that come in contact with the water. The mussels can clog water intake and delivery pipes used to supply drinking water, irrigation to farmlands, or water for hydroelectric power stations. The filter feeders also strip nutrients out of the water. Each mussel filters about one liter of water per day, removing the valuable nutrients that support a healthy fishery.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish reminds boat owners to clean, drain and dry every time to help prevent the spread of invasive species that harm wildlife and threaten water supplies.

Clean all mud, plants, mussels and other debris from boats, trailers, paddles and gear.
Drain all of the water from watercraft by pulling the drain plug, emptying live wells and ballast tanks, draining bilge lines and lowering the engine.

Dry watercraft completely by wiping it down; make sure there are no pools of water anywhere by drying footpads, depressions, gear and ropes.