The quagga mussles have flourished in places such as Lake Mead and Castaic Lake does not want their own pristine waters to fall victim. As a result, every single vessel that enters Castaic Lake must get inspected by the Department of Fish and Wildlife before it is able to set a bow in the lake.
“(We) make sure boats are clean, dream, dry, which is the mantra, said recreation supervisor Chris Mowry.
Every day when boats enter Castaic Lake, this inspection service is offered for free. Inspectors look through every compartment of the boat in search for the most serious culprit when it comes to failing inspections: water.
Any little speck of water on a boat will cause it to fail an inspection. It has to be completely dry.
When Joseph Felix does the inspection, he looks at three specific parts of the boat, the plugs, engines and a quick view of the whole boat.
“Even if it has a tiny drip in the motor…it’s an automatic fail,” he said.
These cautious endeavors are for good reason. The quagga mussle has the potential to wreak havoc in an ecosystem. They’re filter feeders who eat all the plankton and algae, leaving none for other animals who depend on it. And that is just one of many issues the quagga mussle can create.
People who frequent the lake, such as Shelly Cohen, understand the need for an inspection and does not hesitate from getting it done. She even recognized the quick and painless the process it is.
“Everybody here is very awesome (and) it is very smooth,” she said
Joseph Felix inspects the boat of Shelly Cohen at Castaic Lake on Saturday. All boats entering Castaic lake are required to be inspected. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal Boats wait in line to be inspected at Castaic Lake on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal