Quagga mussels try to slip into Oregon, get stopped at checkpoint

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) An Eastern Oregon checkpoint aimed at keeping invasive species from hitchhiking into Oregon on boats has opened for the spring, and it found an infested boat the next day.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says about 50 small quagga mussels were on the outboard motor of a boat being returned last week from Lake Mead.

The Ontario Argus Observer reports the boat was decontaminated with a high-pressure, hot water cleaning.

The state operates checkpoints at Ashland, Lakeview and Ontario. Last year, it reported disinfecting 51 boats.

Quagga mussels are a prime target of the inspections. Brought to the United States on cargo ships, they have spread widely, but not yet to the Northwest. They damage infrastructure and outcompete native species.

Information from: Argus Observer

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.