Big Bear Lake, CA — A Quagga mussel-infested boat was prevented from being launched onto Big Bear Lake because of the pre-launch inspection performed by diligent launch ramp attendants, per a press release issued by the Big Bear Municipal Water District: “The boat showed up at Pine Knot Landing after spending three months in Lake Mojave on the Colorado River. Certified Quagga Mussel Inspector John Bishop at the private marina noted water draining from the boat’s outdrive when it was lowered. Because of this, combined with the knowledge that the boat had recently been in mussel-contaminated waters, the inspector refused to allow the boat to be launched and instead sent it to the Carol Morrison East Public Launch Ramp for a more thorough inspection. Big Bear Municipal Water District Launch Ramp Supervisor Tyler Cockrell and Ramp Attendant Stacy Marquardt performed a detailed inspection and observed thousands of tiny, pinhead-sized Quagga Mussels covering the boat. The boat was then quarantined at the District offices.
The District provides Quagga Mussel inspection training annually, free of charge, to all local private marina workers. Private launch ramps at marinas are required to have District-certified inspectors any time boats are being launched or retrieved. When it was discussed at the May 20th MWD Board meeting, Director Skip Suhay noted, ‘This incident highlights the value of local public awareness and the payoff that results when private marinas and the District cooperate to keep Big Bear Lake Quagga Mussel free.’ The District wants to extend a community wide ‘thank you’ to John, Stacy and Tyler for the protection they provided to the lake for many people, both here in Big Bear Valley and throughout Southern California.  Please remember that your boat, float tube, kayak or canoe needs to be ‘Clean, Drained and Dry’ before launching at Big Bear Lake.”

Lake heroes Tyler Cockrell and Stacy Marquardt, both with the MWD, and John Bishop of Pine Knot Marina kept a Quagga-infested boat from contaminating Big Bear Lake.

Lake Supervisor Travis Carroll shows a cluster of the quickly multiplying Quagga Mussel, which presents a threat to Big Bear Lake's ecosystem, as well as snowmaking capabilities of the ski resorts. All boats entering Big Bear Lake must be clean, drained and dry to prevent Quagga infestation.