Quagga mussels are a national issue currently affecting waterways and agencies in 29 states. This tiny invasive species was brought to the United States in the 1980's and significantly impacts critical water infrastructure such as water intake pipes. By 2011, water agencies in 29 states were impacted by the effects of quagga mussels. Quagga mussels were discovered in Lake Piru in 2013.
As a result of proactive monitoring of the Santa Clara River, on August 23, 2017, United Water staff identified and removed 13 quagga mussels from two different locations along the Santa Clara River. In addition, staff checked four other locations and found no other evidence of quagga mussels. United reported these findings to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and will continue to proactively monitor designated sites as we diligently work with CDFW and other regulatory agencies and stakeholders on a collaborative Quagga Mussel Monitoring and Control Plan. For additional technical information regarding the recent finding, please click here or contact Katherine Ayres, Associate Ecologist, at 805-317-8996.
Because quagga mussels are a regional issue, we are asking our stakeholders to join a county-wide coalition to develop and implement a regional quagga mussel control strategy. Currently, conflicting laws and regulations inhibit the implementation of some promising quagga mussel control and eradication options. An important part of the regional strategy will be to work with federal and state elected officials and regulatory agency leaders to find ways to effectively overcome these regulatory challenges. Now is the time to act! If you would like to be a part of the coalition developing a regional strategy, or have any further questions, please contact Anthony Emmert, Deputy General Manager, at 805-525-4431.