This is the season for boating, and this is the weekend that you have been looking forward to. The kids have their wakeboarding gear ready, including the newest tow ropes. While the boys have been preparing all of their equipment for their favorite water sports, you have been paying attention to the details of the boat. You have replaced the eco-conscious invasive species filter that is required on the local lakes, you have checked the engine, and have both the truck and the boat filled with fuel.
Although the wakeboarding is what your teenagers are after, you do not need anyone to tell you that the eco-conscious invasive species filter is the most important part. In fact, it is easy for you to remember why the invasive species prevention steps are necessary. Three summers ago the lake that is less than a mile from your home sat empty and you had to drive nearly 15 miles to find an open body of water that was available. The reason that the lake was empty was that an invasive species of mussels had been found. The local authorities said the fact that some boat owners had not been using the recommended eco-conscious invasive species filters was the most likely cause of the problem.
Why Are Mussels Bad for Ballast Systems?
Even the smallest zebra mussels can cause costly problems for power plants and cities when they clog water intakes. Zebra mussels also cause problems boaters when they attach to boat motors and boat hulls and reduce both efficiency and performance. They are also able to attach to swim rafts, rocks, and ladders where swimmers can cut their feet on the sharp mussel shells. In addition to clogging irrigation intakes and other boating systems they can also impact the environment of lakes and rivers because they eat tiny food particles, reducing available food for larval fish and other animals.
Boating is a great way to spend a weekend, but the future of boating and any kind of water sports is dependent on owners making sure that they properly clean their boats when they leave one area and go to another.
Consider how many people are hoping that everyone does their part to care for the lakes and rivers in our nation:
- 13.8% of the U.S. population ages six and up participated in water sports in the year 2016.
- 19.6% of Millennials participate in water sports.
- 12.7 million households in America own a boat.