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aquatic nuisance species (ANS) inspections

CPW Intercepts Mussel-Infested Boat in Colorado, Urges Public Vigilance

GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO – Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) successfully intercepted a quagga mussel-infested boat on April 6 at the Loma Port of Entry, marking a critical catch in the state’s fight against invasive species. The boat, coming from Lake Powell, Arizona to Grand Junction, is among eight such interceptions this year, emphasizing the importance of Colorado’s rigorous roadside aquatic nuisance species (ANS) inspections.

Robert Walters, CPW’s Invasive Species Program Manager, highlighted the incident as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat. “The heavy infestation on this particular boat showcases the critical need for these inspections at our state borders,” Walters commented. CPW’s ongoing efforts have led to 254 boat inspections and 33 decontaminations at Loma, alongside 76 inspections and 13 decontaminations at the Trinidad Port of Entry.

With boating season in full swing, CPW reminds all travelers with motorized or trailered watercraft crossing into Colorado via I-70 and I-25 that they are required to stop for ANS inspections through October 31. These check stations operate from Thursday to Monday each week.

Images: Quagga mussels on the infested boat. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Boaters are encouraged to prepare their watercraft for inspections by ensuring they are clean, drained, and dry. Watercrafts harboring mud, plants, water, or mussels are flagged for mandatory decontamination to prevent the spread of ANS, which can have devastating impacts on local ecosystems and water management infrastructure.

How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species:

  • Check and Clean: Before moving your boat or gear, thoroughly inspect and clean it to remove any visible mud, plants, fish, or animals.
  • Drain: Empty all water from your boat, including the bilge, ballast, and storage areas.
  • Dry: Allow your boat and gear to dry completely before entering new bodies of water.
  • Educate Yourself: Familiarize yourself with local regulations and restrictions concerning invasive species in your area.
  • Use Native Plants and Animals: When stocking ponds or gardens, opt for species native to your region to avoid unintended introductions.
  • Volunteer: Participate in local clean-up days to help remove invasive species from public lands and waterways.


Invasive species pose a significant threat not only to water systems but also to terrestrial environments. Stopping their spread is crucial for maintaining biodiversity and the health of ecosystems.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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