Boats should not be left in the water for extended periods of time. With regular use, engine heat should keep mussels from colonizing inside most engine parts.

Always drain the bilge water, live wells and bait buckets.

Inspect the boat and trailer immediately upon leaving the water.

Scrape off any mussel found. DO NOT return them to the water.

If possible, dry the boat and trailer for at least a week before entering another waterway. (If conditions are right, mussels can live for up to seven days on a boat hull outside the water.)

Wash boat parts and accessories that contact the water using hot water (at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit), a ten percent solution of household chlorine bleach, or hot saltwater solution. Do not wash the boat at the ramp where these solutions could pollute the water. Always finish with a clean water rinse.

For more information on zebra mussels, or to report a possible sighting in GRDA waters, contact the GRDA Office of Ecosystems Management at (918) 782-3382, or visit the Office of Ecosystems Management page on