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Zebra Mussels Invade Lewis And Clark Lake

Sam Stukel, GFP Fisheries Biologist
Sam Stukel, GFP Fisheries Biologist
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The invasive species of zebra mussels have been found in Lewis and Clark Lake. The Game Fish and Parks found mussels attached to boats on the Yankton reservoir.

Zebra mussels are small shell species that cause huge problems. Jeff VanMeeteren is the regional park supervisor for the southeastern part of the state. He says the  hard mussels can cause damage to any hard surface in the water.

“They’re little mussel shell species that can reproduce quickly and build on top of each other and eventually clog things like that. Pretty much any infrastructure that stays in the water is suspect to these,” says VanMeeteren.

Right now there is no solution to treating Lewis and Clark Lake. But VanMeeteren says boaters play a huge role in preventing mussels from contaminating other lakes.

“Really what is comes down to is when a fisherman leaves the water they are to pull their plug, which most boats are equip with, to drain out all the water in their boat and in the case of fishing boats where they might have live wells to keep their fish in, all that water must be removed as well. So that’s really what we’re asking boaters to do so that they don’t move water from one lake to another lake in the state,” says VanMeeteren.

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Credit Sam Stukel, GFP Fisheries Biologist

Officials in Minnesota and states without the U.S are also struggling to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.  VanMeeteren says it is too early to tell what impact the mussels will have on the ecosystem of the lake.