Stop Aquatic Hitchikers

Author: Public Works
Date: Friday, July 21, 2017 12:00 AM

30-day Vessel Launch Restrictions in effect for all Local Lakes.


Several lakes in nearby counties have recently been added to the State’s list of lakes infested with zebra or quagga mussels. To protect the County of San Luis Obispo’s water resources from vessels that may be carrying invasive species, please follow mussel prevention safeguards to CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY all boats and equipment before visiting local lakes and be prepared to have boats inspected prior to launching. Vessels will not be allowed to launch at any San Luis Obispo County lake if they have visited a mussel infested lake within the last 30 days or fail the vessel inspection. If boaters are caught on any local lake without a signed inspection form on board they could be fined up to $2,000. Enforcement will continue throughout the year and boaters should allow extra time to get through the inspection process.

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels can “hitch” a ride on boats, and travel to other non-infested lakes and cause significant damage to a lake’s natural environment, its infrastructure, and water delivery systems. To expedite the inspection process, boaters’ can follow these simple guidelines when entering or leaving any waterway:

  • 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

For further information on the current listing of mussel infested lakes or for more information on the County of San Luis Obispo’s Mussel inspection program, please visit:
www.SLOCountyWater.org, www.SLOCountyParks.com, and www.wildlife.ca.gov, or call the County's Mussel Prevention Coordinator at (805) 781-5109.