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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Boats Carrying Invasive Mussels Intercepted At Ruedi

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy
Aspen Public Radio

Inspectors at Ruedi Reservoir have spotted invasive mussels on two boats so far this summer, and officials think there are more to come.

All vessels that use the boat ramp at Ruedi Reservoir go through an inspection process. It’s meant to keep the waters clear of zebra and quagga mussels, two highly destructive species that have infested many lakes and reservoirs, including Lake Powell.

The two contaminated boats had recently been to Powell.


“As long as we are kind of surrounded by infested waters, most critically Lake Powell, we are probably going to see more of this, rather than less,” said Mark Fuller, executive director of the Ruedi Water and Power Authority, which sponsors the boat inspection program.

This is not the first time the inspections have turned up the mussels, but Fuller said it’s rare to see this much action this early in the boating season. Quagga mussels were found in crevices and on anchors, in difficult to spot areas. The boats were decontaminated and allowed to enter Ruedi.

Fuller said this can serve as a reminder to boaters to be particularly careful in cleaning, draining and drying their vessels.


Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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