The San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department issued a restriction on boats launching in county lakes if they have visited any zebra or quagga mussel-infested lake in the last 30 days or have failed a vessel inspection.
The penalty for boating in a SLO County lake without a signed inspection form on board is a fine of up to $2,000.
“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,” according to a county statement.
Infested lakes near SLO County include Lake Piru in Ventura County and the San Justo Reservoir in San Benito County, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Boaters are encouraged to inspect all exposed surfaces of their boats for mussels — “small mussels feel like sandpaper to the touch,” according to the county — and to wash the hull of the watercraft thoroughly, removing all plant and animal material.