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Zebra and Quagga Mussel Inspection at Blue Mesa Reservoir

All boaters who wish to recreate on Blue Mesa Reservoir must recieve a boat inspection for Zebra and Quagga mussels. Please view these links for detailed information about this non-native mussel.

Inspection Sign for Zebra Muscle Colorado USGS Zebra Mussel Sightings Data Updated Daily.
USGS Quagga Mussel Sigtings Data Updated Daily.
USGS Time Progression Data on Zebra Mussels.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife DOW ZEBRA MUSSEL
The National Park Service Site NPS ZEBRA MUSSELS
The National Park Service NPS INVASIVE THREATS

Zebra Muscle PictureZebra Muscle Picture

Zebra and Quagga Mussels

What this means to boaters is that the all will need an inspecion on Blue Mesa Reservoir. Night boat launching is over! Taking out at Elk Creek Marina, Lake Fork Marina, Steven’s Creek launches are limited to 5am to 9pm. Boaters, the good news is that it isn’t too painful. Pull up to the posted inspection stations and have your motors dropped down in an untrimmed position, have your live wells empty and anchors visible. After this, you will receive a yellow tag and are safe to boat in Blue Mesa Reservoir as long as you want, and won't need an inspection for the Zebra mussel or quagga mussel transportation again until you take your boat out of the water- no time limit. Unfortunately, you will need to get an inspection for mussels every time you visit the boat launch, so get there early and you’ll be in and out in a few minutes!

Zebra Muscle Inspection PictureZebra Muscle Inspection Picture
The Material that follows was taken from the National Park Service U.S. Department of Interior.

All motorized watercraft launching in Curecanti National Recreation Area are required to be inspected for invasive mussels and, if necessary, decontaminated in accordance with procedures set by the Colorado Department of Wildlife. In addition to the mandatory inspection prior to launch, and to be in compliance with the State of Colorado’s Aquatic Nuisance Species protocols, all motorized watercraft leaving Blue Mesa, Morrow Point or Crystal Reservoirs will undergo a second inspection to verify the watercraft has been cleaned, drained and dried.


Hand-launched watercraft with no motor or only an electric trolling motor do not need an inspection. All sailboats and any watercraft being launched with a trailer that enters the water need an inspection.


•Keep your boat clean. Dirty boats cannot be properly inspected and will be sent to decontamination.
•Keep your boat drained and dry.
•Any amount of standing water will lead to a more intensive inspection, and possibly decontamination.
•Remember that live wells need to be drained and dry both before and after launch.


If any part of the like opens enough for boating prior to April 5, boaters should call the “mussel line” at 970-641-2337, ext. 213 to arrange for an inspector to meet them at the launch location. These call-outs are available between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.

After April 5, park staff will begin operating an inspection station at Dillon Pinnacles, Windsurf (Bay of Chickens) or Lake Fork, whichever opens first. Once Lake Fork boat ramp opens, Dillon or Windsurf launch sites will close. Elk Creek inspections will begin when that area is ice free. All hours of operation for these early season stations will be 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

On May 1, Lake Fork, Elk Creek and Iola will be open for inspections. Station hours after May 1 will be 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Watch for further information about inspection stations and hours in late May. Check for updates here or call the mussel line.

Boat ramps will be closed for launching and retrieval before and after the above hours. Overnight boaters on the reservoir may camp on their boats or at designated boat-in campgrounds.


Only hand-launched watercraft with no motor or only an electric trolling motor are permitted to launch at satellite ramps such as Iola, Ponderosa, Wilson's Landing and the Wind Surfing Area without having an inspection. The following are prohibited at satellite ramps:

•launching any watercraft with a trailer (trailer may not enter water)
•launching motorized watercraft equipped with an engine other than an electric trolling motor
•launching sailboats

This Zebra Mussel and Quagga Mussel Inspection effort will allow for better monitoring of launch areas for non-Mussel free certified vessels and will increase the likelihood that Blue Mesa will remain free of mussels.

Blue Mesa Fishing Guide Services