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Board to Address Quagga Threat at Lake Casitas


Casitas Municipal Water District's Board of Directors will make a decision on how to protect Lake Casitas from invasive mussels at a special meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on March 4, 2008 at the Nordoff High School Cafeteria located at 1401 Maricopa Highway in Ojai, California.

On January 6, 2007 quagga mussels were discovered in Lake Mead, which straddles the Nevada-Arizona border and connects to Southern California via the Colorado River and a system of aqueducts and canals. Quagga mussels are tiny mussels native to the Ukraine that have quickly spread throughout Southern California during the last year. Quagga mussels have invaded the Colorado River aqueduct and could spread throughout the state, threatening to clog the state's water-delivery systems and damage freshwater ecosystems. Quagga mussels and closely related zebra mussels already have established themselves in the Great Lakes. There, they clog water systems and industrial intake pipes, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage annually. They also have eroded native fish and mollusk populations.

Zebra mussels have also been recently discovered in California, they are another related mussel from the Ukraine. Quagga and Zebra mussels can be transferred from infected water bodies to uninfected water bodies by recreational boaters.