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Contract extended for lake mussel inspections

Posted: August 12, 2014 4:02 p.m.
Updated: August 12, 2014 4:02 p.m.

Though small, the freshwater dreissenid mussels are very destructive once they establish themselves in lakes.

County supervisors voted Tuesday to move forward with continuing efforts to muscle mussels out of Castaic and Pyramid lakes.

The county agreed to enter into a contract with the California Department of Water Resources to spend up to $1,753,118 in state funds to continue a freshwater mussel inspection and education program at the two Santa Clarita Valley-area lakes.

“The potential spread of the non-native dreissenid mussels to Los Angeles County is of significant concern due to the negative economic impacts associated with the introduction and proliferation of dreissenid mussels in freshwater bodies of water,” reads the board agenda item.

“These mussels cause great economic damage when they infest pipes, pumps, or other components of municipal and industrial water supply systems or power plant cooling systems.”

The county already maintains such a program at the lakes to check for the tiny mussels.

As part of that program, all boats are required to be inspected prior to launching at either Castaic or Pyramid lakes.

Tuesday’s vote will allow the county to continue its inspection and education programs through Aug. 31, 2017.

“In addition to the potential damage on water purveyance systems, these mussels can seriously disrupt and negatively affect the ecosystem of freshwater lakes and rivers,” the board agenda item reads. “Once a water system is infested, the costly measures required to eradicate these mussels can have serious detrimental effects on the recreational aspects of a freshwater lake or river system.”

Such efforts are of particular importance now, as destructive fresh-water mussels were found in Lake Piru last December.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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