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Zebra Mussels Found

Pete Springer/OPB

A state boat inspector crew found non-native zebra mussels during a voluntary inspection near Ashland.

The 15-foot Boston Whaler was headed to Washington, but it was purchased in Michigan, where invasive zebra mussels have caused massive ecological changes by stripping life-supporting algae from the Great Lakes. These zebra (and the related quagga) mussels are among the most dangerous invaders in the state.

And they’re getting expensive: Congressional research places the cost of these fingernail-sized mollusks in the billions.

Legislation is being considered in Salem to make boat checks mandatory — they’re currently voluntary, and boaters can opt out — and to reduce fines for non-motorized water vehicles that don’t have an aquatic invasive species permit.

Are you boater, a river-lover or an eager angler who keeps an eye out for invasive species? Have you lived in a region ravaged by biological invaders? Do you feel threatened by zebra mussels?


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OPB | Broadcast: May 23, 2011