Officials fighting to keep New Mexico mussel-free

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is fighting an invasive species even though it hasn’t established a population in the state.

The Daily Times reports that department officials fear out-of-state boaters could bring zebra mussels and quagga mussels to New Mexico.

Aquatic invasive species coordinator James Dominguez the mussels are native to eastern Europe but established themselves in the Great Lakes before spreading to almost every state east of New Mexico.

The tiny animals attach to infrastructure, rocks and boats and can clog pipes that transport water to homes and agriculture.

A 2012 false positive test for mussels nearby led the city to close Farmington Lake. It was reopened to paddle boats this month.

All boats will be inspected for mussels before being allowed into the water.

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