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Game, Fish, and Parks warns of Zebra mussels in Lake Sharpe

Game, Fish, and Parks

The South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Lake Sharpe in central South Dakota last Friday.

The mussels are native to European seas and can produce up to 1,000,000 offspring a year.

Chris Hull is a communications specialist with Game, Fish, and Parks. He says the presence of these mussels can have a harmful effect on life in the lake.

"They’re feeding at the bottom of the food chain, and they’re voracious eaters, obviously," says Hull. "If they’re reproducing at a great rate, they’re going to take over the bottom of that food chain and really eat all the little things in the water that everyone else relies on to eat.”

Hull says it’s important for boaters to clean and drain the water out of their boats to help stop the spread of the mussels.

The zebra mussel was first discovered in the Missouri River in South Dakota in 2015.