Elizabeth Smart speaks at Pennsylvania university

Conference in SLC to discuss invasive mussel species

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SALT LAKE CITY -- State wildlife experts from all over the western United States are in Salt Lake City talking about invasive foreign species in Utah and how to contain their explosive growth.

Freshwater mussels are one of the top concerns for wildlife specialist Leah Elwell the Western Panel Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator. Specifically the quagga-zebra mussel species, two species that can cause trouble for boaters, block pipelines and even spread disease.

"Really it's not just someone else's issue, it really is everybody's," said Elwell.

Experts from 19 different states are at the session that will until Friday. There they will discuss methods on how to keep the invasive species out, sharing tips and even using interactive technology to get the public involved.

"The most important piece of fighting aquatic invasive species is simply to keep them out before they ever get here and that's cheapest and that's where the public can play a great role," said invasive species coordinator Larry Dalton.