1st Prosecution Of Lake Powell Quagga Mussels Violation

The Salt Lake Tribune today ran an article detailing the ticketing, trial and conviction of the first Lake Powell Quagga Mussels violation.

For background on the Quagga Muscles please see NPS Increases Efforts to Keep Quagga Mussels out of Lake Powell and the following Video as well Zebra Quagga Mussels Lets Keep Them Out of Lake Powell

In August of 2009 a Nevada State resident was informed by park service staff that his boat needed to be inspected for the Zebra or Quagga mussels before launching in Lake Powell. The man, Mr. Ward, refused the request and proceeded to Lone Rock where he launched his boat and received a citation.

Mr Ward opted to go to trial rather than pay the fine on the ticket.  A federal magistrate heard the case and found Mr. Ward guilty, and ordered him to pay a $2,500 fine.

It is difficult for me to understand why, when asked to comply with the boat inspection, a person would ignore the request and endanger the lake. Lake Powell is a beautiful lake and offers so many opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and general recreation for millions it seems if one cared about the lake, one would ensure their boat was not endangering it. The invasion of the mussels into Lake Mead is well documented as is the damage.

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2 comments on “1st Prosecution Of Lake Powell Quagga Mussels Violation
  1. matt says:

    Myself and two aquantinces have been charged with failure to follow park rules, and launching without an inspection at lake powell after being misinformed by park employees. I was told to “Proceed to launch” after passing a dirt lot which was posted with a sign that read “No Public Access”. The sign was posted on a dirt lot entrance which had no posted signs whatsoever such as ranger station or inspection station.
    we proceeded to launch as directed and placed the inspection paper on the dash as directed. ithin minutes we were detained at the launch ramp by a park ranger, followed by a police boat, followed by two police officers in a police car. While we were detained by no less than four armed officers we were told to write a statement, given a statement sheet and a pen. we were detained for approximately 3 hrs.
    We were cited for failure to follow park rules.
    Shortly after we recieved a summons via mail which specified a pre hearing by phone. During the pre hearing we were given an ultimatum, urged to donate $2500 each person for a total of $7500 or face Federal court in which our statements would not be considered regarding posted signs or lack thereof, and we would be convicted of a federal offense which would go on our record along with possible jail times and fines.
    Interestingly we were urged to donate $2500 each and the charges would be dropped, magically we would be not guilty. The case is still pending. The accusing party, the rangers, are also the corthouse. Fair trial? Guilty until proven innocent? hatever the outcome I will speak out and reach out to others who have been railroaded and extorted by this system.

  2. Jerry says:

    Like a lot of new, self-serving, revenue generating laws, this Quagga sticker law is just as corrupt and idiotic, and not well thought out. So, what if you purchase the $16 sticker for your San Diego lake based boat which is taken to Lake Mendocino where it proceeds to infest the lake? The DFG are really quite colossal idiots, mostly interested feathering their retirement in every way possible.

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