ZEBRA MUSSELS CONFIRMED AT NORTHEAST KANSAS’ PERRY RESERVOIR
Fourth Kansas lake to document presence of troublesome species
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has confirmed that zebra mussels have been found in Perry Reservoir.
KDWP’s aquatic nuisance species specialist Jason Goeckler sent SCUBA divers to investigate on Tuesday, Oct. 10th, after a Perry boater contacted him about a single zebra mussel attached to his boat hull. The divers discovered three adult mussels in about ten feet of water in the Marina Cove area. Zebra mussel veligers (larvae) were also found in plankton samples, indicating that the population is increasing at a low level.
The zebra mussel is a fingernail-sized, D-shaped mollusk that typically has a dark and white (zebra-like) pattern on the shell. Since introduction into the United States in 1988, it has rapidly spread from the Great Lakes Region to Midwestern streams. In Kansas, zebra mussels have been documented in El Dorado Reservoir in 2003, Winfield City Lake in 2006, and Cheney Reservoir earlier this year.
Zebra mussels reproduce rapidly. Once introduced, new populations can expand quickly and cause great damage, both economically and environmentally, Goeckler said. They can rapidly attach to and cover any hard structure in water, including native mussels, pipes, water supply structures, rocks, piers, flooded timber, boat hulls, and aquatic motor parts, often clogging them to the point of malfunction. Once zebra mussels become established, they are nearly impossible to eradicate.
“Educated boaters and other lake users are still our best tool to prevent the further spread of this species,” Goeckler said. “With Perry’s close proximity to many other Kansas reservoirs, it is imperative that we work together to prevent this species from spreading to other lakes. We will post signs around the reservoir and river to inform all users that zebra mussels are present and that it is illegal to possess or transport them. All lake users need to ensure that they are not moving mussels out of Perry Reservoir.”
Zebra mussel larvae are free-floating and microscopic, which enables aquatic users to unknowingly transport them between water bodies. All Perry Reservoir users must adhere to the following precautions to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels:
- learn to identify aquatic nuisance species, such as zebra mussels;
- never move fish or water from one body of water to another;
- empty bait buckets on dry land, not into lakes;
- inspect boats, trailers, skis, anchors, and all other equipment and remove any visible organisms and vegetation; and
- wash equipment with hot (140-degree) water, a 10-percent chlorine and water solution, or dry for at least five days to remove or kill species that are not visible.
Phone 620-342-0658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if zebra mussels or any other nuisance species are found.