Saturday Morning At Quail Creek State Park Utah

My husband, Bill, and I are enjoying our camp host position at Quail Creek State Park in Utah. There is so much to see and do, and we are learning so much about what it takes to operate a State Park, and how important it is to keep the lakes and waterways clean and free of contamination.

This morning I captured these pictures on my early morning walk. Weekends are always busy here on the Quail Creek Lake and today was no exception. At 7:30 a.m. overnight campers were already up and out on the water, and people wanting to just spend the day at the lake were arriving in a constant steady stream. I captured this guy wave jumping on one water ski. He was really good and was even turning cartwheels in the air… , show-off.. 🙂

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He was evening skiing backwards on one ski…

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I never caught him up in the air….

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But I sure enough caught him when he did something wrong and did a big belly flop into the water….

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People were arriving with all sorts of watercraft like these boats

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Jet ski’s

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Kayak’s

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and even inflatable toys… all of which have to be inspected at the gate before they can launch them into the water of Quail Creek Lake. Why you might ask?

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Because of these… These are Quagga mussels (photo courtesy of Arizona Game and Fish Dept)

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and these…. These are Zebra mussels (photo courtesy of Arizona Game and Fish Dept.). Both are VERY destructive when they get into the lakes and waterways.

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Lake Powell, Deer Lake, and several other Utah lakes already have quagga and zebra mussels in the water. Actually they are overwhelmed with them. So if a boater had his/her boat on Lake Powell, Deer Lake etc. then came to Quail Creek Lake, they can bring the quagga and zebra mussels with them in their boats/watercraft and contaminate Quail Creek Lake as well.

Both quagga and zebra mussels attach themselves to hard surfaces like boats and water pipes. The first picture above of the quagga mussels is an example of how they can attach themselves to a water pipe and eventually clog the pipe completely. That pipe was a test and was in the water for only eight months. Both quagga and zebra mussels multiply extremely fast and even the tiny baby mussels before they produce their shells can attach to hard surfaces where they can grow and multiply. So in order to keep these mussels from entering Quail Creek Lake and Sand Hollow reservoir, ALL water craft must be inspected for any standing water and/or any evidence of quagga or zebra mussels. In order to do that “we” the camp ground staff working the area, must stop everyone entering the lake area with water craft and physically inspect each and every one. If we find any standing water, or any evidence of quagga or zebra mussels, we have to send them to Sand Hollow (about five miles down the road) to be decontaminated. That process involves cleaning the entire water craft with very hot water that will kill the mussels. Then they are given a slip that allows them to bring the water craft back to Quail Creek Lake and allowed to launch their craft into the water.

Some people are not happy when they are told we found evidence of quagga or zebra mussels or standing water where baby mussels too small to be seen could live… But we remind them that it is a federal offence to transport any water from one lake to another and/or to launch any watercraft known to have evidence of quagga or zebra mussels… When told that they either go get decontaminated or we will call the law enforcement…. and they could be fined and/or spend time in jail… they opt to go get decontaminated.

All boaters and people that own watercraft in Utah know the rules of the water. They must clean, drain, and completely dry out their watercraft after every use. Letting the watercraft completely dry out is the only way to kill quagga and zebra mussels without using the decontamination process. Most boaters want to keep their boats clean, drained, and dry because the mussels can damage their expensive boats/watercraft just as much as they damage the lakes and waterways. But, there is always that one or two that don’t care and make things difficult for everyone else…. Until they get to our inspection sites and find out they just made life more difficult for themselves…!

For the most part everyone that comes to Quail Creek Lake have fun and enjoy their time on and around the water. However, it saddens me to say that not everyone follows the rules and sometimes that ends in tragedy. Last week a 30-year-old man tried to swim from the boat launch area to the fishing dock, both areas are clearly posted NO SWIMMING AREAS. He began to have difficulty 20 feet from the fishing dock and drowned right in front of his mother, who was standing on the fishing dock watching in horror but unable to help him because she couldn’t swim herself. Unfortunately, no other people were close enough to get to him before he sank to the bottom. Divers recovered the body later that night 15 feet down under the water and 20 feet from the dock. So, so, sad, and so avoidable if people would just follow the rules created for their own safety.

Stay Tuned!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Jun 21, 2015 @ 01:19:23

    Who knew? So thanks for the overview! My first thought is all it’ll take is one crazy and if they hurt my frizzy and my Bro…well they’ll have to deal with ME! Stay safe…ENJOY…and keep taking photos and educating us! I just saw that Phoenix area has really been hot…what temperatures are you having? What do you do when you need air conditioning at night time? So many questions…but I’ll only ask a few at a time. XOXO Love you both! MORE!

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Jun 21, 2015 @ 13:29:59

      Our temps here are running right around 100-105. They say we are having a heat wave and breaking records in Salt Lake City… However, we have two refrigeration units on our motor home and they work really well. I’m in the process of composing a blog post that will provide more details about life in our motorhome, but don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions. I’m more than happy to answer any questions anytime. Love and hugs, XoXo

      Reply

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