Rickreall Watershed

Watershed Management
Rickreall Watershed Management Strategies Assessment
 No Boats_thumb.jpg
No Boats on Reservoir
Boats and other water vessels in Mercer Reservoir create significant risks to the City’s drinking water. These risks are primarily from invasive species transfer into the reservoir from other lakes and reservoirs.

The invasive species include Cyanobacteria, Chinese and Japanese Mystery Snails, New Zealand Mudsnails, Zebra Mussels and Quagga Mussels.

Cyanobacteria are known as blue-green algae because they are aquatic and use sunlight to create food and support life. However they are not algae. They usually are too small to be seen, but sometimes can form visible colonies (called algai blooms) in slow moving water that are rich in nutrients. These blooms can occur at any time, most often in late summer or early fall. Cyanobacteria can be transferred into Mercer Reservoir from the hulls of boats that have been in infected areas. This type of bacteria is toxic and has been linked to human and animal illness around the world. The toxins produced from cyanobacteria blooms are some of the most powerful known to man. The introduction of cyanobacteria into Mercer Reservoir would, at the very least, complicate our treatment process and increase our costs.

Invasive mussels and snails of all types can also easily be transferred into Mercer Reservoir from the hulls of boats that have been in infected areas. They can host parasites and diseases that are known to infect humans. Their shells can obstruct intake pipe screens, interfere with the valve that controls flow from the reservoir and restrict water flow within the treatment plant. These organisms would, at the very least, increase needed maintenance, and costs throughout the system.

For more information about invasive species in Oregon, please contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 503.947.6000. For information about use of or access to the Reservoir, please contact Hancock Forest Management at 503.623.9613.

Ordinance No. 1763