Lake Nacimiento
Lake Nacimiento

Mussel Infested Boat Prevented from Launching at Nacimiento Lake

Author: Public Works
Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 12:00 PM

On July 29, 2017 a volunteer screener discovered hundreds of invasive mussels attached to a boat attempting to launch at Heritage Ranch.


Photo of mussel infested boatPhoto of mussel infested boat

On July 29, 2017, a Lake Nacimiento Mussel Prevention Program volunteer screener, trained by the San Luis Obispo County Flood Control District, discovered hundreds of invasive mussels attached to a boat attempting to launch at the Heritage Ranch boat ramp. The vessel owner was prohibited from launching into Lake Nacimiento. The owner claimed he was unaware that the mussels were on the vessel he had just purchased from Arizona. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was notified and a quarantine notice was issued the next day for the Arizona boat.

Invasive mussels have not been found in local San Luis Obispo County lakes to-date, due in part to inspection program efforts, along with responsible boat owners’ prevention efforts. Since 2010, Monterey County Parks, Monterey County Water Resources Agency, San Luis Obispo County Flood Control District and the Nacimiento Regional Water Management Advisory Committee have worked together to plan, advise, and organize the Mussel Prevention Program at Lake Nacimiento.

The County of San Luis Obispo appreciates boaters’ assistance in protecting local water resources. The public can assist in educating others about the importance of responsible boating by remembering to CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY all boats and equipment before visiting local lakes and being prepared to have boats inspected.

Prior to launching:

  • all vessels must carry a signed and stamped permit with
  • them at all times;
  • inspect all exposed surfaces -- small mussels feel like
  • sandpaper to the touch;
  • wash the hull of each watercraft thoroughly;
  • remove all plant and animal material;
  • drain all water and dry all areas (including the lower outboard unit);
  • clean and dry all live-wells, and dispose of any unused bait in the trash;
  • empty and dry any buckets and compartments; and
  • any vessel that has been on an infested water body in the last 30 days will be prohibited from launching.

For more information regarding the Mussel Prevention Program, please contact Danielle Ruedas at (805) 781-5109 or email at DRuedas@co.slo.ca.us; Barrie Valencia at (805) 781-1455 or email at BValencia@co.slo.ca.us or Misty Pontes at (805) 788-2387 or email at MPontes@co.slo.ca.us.