SONOMA COUNTY (CBS SF)— Authorities are warning boaters at Lakes Sonoma and Mendocino to expect a visitor over Memorial Day weekend.
Popeye the mussel-sniffing dog will be inspecting boats at both reservoirs for invasive quagga and zebra mussels, according to the Sonoma County Water Agency.
These mussels have infested 27 reservoirs in the state and have caused more than $500 million in damage nationwide, according to water agency officials.
The mussels reproduce quickly, clog water infrastructure, and destroy natural habitats and fisheries, water agency officials said.
Boaters will be asked to voluntarily allow Popeye on their watercrafts, officials said.
Authorities warn that if Popeye does discover one of the mussels on board, the boat will not be allowed to launch.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife will also have to be notified of the discovery.
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