Those pesky zebra mussels have been found for the first time in an inland body of water in Iowa. Kim Bogenschutz, coordinator of the Iowa D-N-R’s aquatic nuisance species program, says two of the mussels were discovered recently in Clear Lake. Bogenschutz says it’s a concern since the creatures can cause a number of problems. She says zebra mussels can clog water intake pipes at water plants or power plants and force expensive repairs. They can also infiltrate the native mussel species and disrupt the aquatic food chain. Bogenschutz says there are many ways these two zebra mussels might have found their way into Clear Lake. They likely came in on a boat or maybe in some water that someone dumped out of a boat’s bilge or a bait bucket. They could’ve been from the Mississippi River or from a boat that had recently been in a lake in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota or elsewhere. Bogenschutz says they’ll continue monitoring Clear Lake to determine whether there are more zebra mussels. The D-N-R is working with dock removal companies to look over docks for signs of zebra mussels to see if more are in the lake or if it’s an isolated incident. They’ll also send down divers in the late fall or early spring to search. Bogenschutz says anybody who removes their boat from Clear Lake or any other lake or river should inspect it for possible invasive species.She says to look the boat over and remove any plants or evidence of mussels. Drain all the water from the live well and bilge. Dump leftover bait in the trash, not the open water. If you plan to go to another body of water, make sure to wash the boat first at a car wash with hot water. If you see a zebra mussel, please note its location and contact the nearest D-N-R office.
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