KDWP CONDUCTS AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES INSPECTIONS
Hillsdale Reservoir users given impromptu education; no ANS found
PAOLA — On Saturday, June 19, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks staff conducted unannounced courtesy inspections of motor boats, sailboats, and other watercraft as visitors prepared to use them in Hillsdale Reservoir. The purpose was twofold — to make sure users had legally-required safety equipment and that they were taking precautions to prevent spread of harmful aquatic nuisance species (ANS) such as zebra mussels, white perch, Asian carp, and Eurasian watermilfoil (an invasive aquatic plant). More such inspections are planned throughout the summer in the Sunflower State. Across Kansas, boaters heading for a day at the lake may encounter boat inspectors checking for ANS and safety equipment in an effort to protect the state's aquatic resources and to keep Kansans safe.
“We organized these events to protect Kansas lakes and Kansans from the harm caused by zebra mussels and other aquatic nuisance species,” said Jason Goeckler, KDWP's aquatic nuisance species program coordinator. “This weekend’s event at Hillsdale Reservoir was a great success. We were able to visit with numerous boaters to provide information about aquatic nuisance species and conduct boat inspections to ensure harmful aquatic nuisance species were not being transported. Fortunately, no aquatic nuisance species were found, but there were several cases where people were moving water in bilges or livewells."
The transport of water between lakes can contribute to the spread of zebra mussels because their young, called veligers, are essentially invisible and are free-floating in water, which makes adherence to KDWP's "Clean, Drain, Dry" recommendations so important. “It is against state and federal law to possess live zebra mussels, and we want to do all we can to make sure they never show up at another Kansas lake,” said natural resource officer Sean Williams, KDWP's lead officer for the Hillsdale Reservoir event.
District fisheries biologist Andy Jansen, who helped coordinate the event, added that “education is our best defense against the spread of aquatic invasive species, so these events go a long way toward protecting our aquatic resources."
"The spread of zebra mussels is completely preventable if people take our recommendations seriously," Goekler explained. "So when you visit Kansas waters this summer, don’t be surprised if you encounter KDWP staff looking for aquatic nuisance species."
The following measures are recommended to prevent spreading harmful aquatic nuisance species before leaving any lake:
Before leaving a lake
- Clean — inspect equipment for anything that doesn’t belong — including plants, animals, and mud — and remove it; and
- Drain — drain all water from equipment and if fishing, dispose of bait properly on the shore or in an approved trash receptacle. Never dump bait back into a lake.
Before using at another lake
- Dry — thoroughly dry equipment for five days or wash it with hot water if it is needed before the five days have expired (140 degree water for 10 seconds contact time will kill zebra mussels).
For more information on ANS, type "ans" in the search box on KDPW's website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us, then click "Aquatic Nuisance Species."