The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that an aquatic invasive species has been discovered in a north central Iowa lake. DNR fisheries biologist Scott Grummer says zebra mussels have made their way into Lake Cornelia, which is northeast of Clarion. “We just had an adult mussel turned in by a dock owner that found it on a boat lift,” Grummer said. “We’ve taken water samples from Lake Cornelia and also found the microscopic form, a very young mussel called a veliger, in those water samples.”
Zebra mussels are native to the Caspian Sea region of Asia. They were transported into the Great Lakes in the 1980s and were first documented in Iowa in 1992 in the Mississippi River near Burlington. Since then, they’ve been reported in a few interior waters, such as Clear Lake and the Iowa Great Lakes in northwest Iowa.
“We’re trying to educate people to prevent the spread (of zebra mussels) and a lot of that comes down to good boat hygiene,” Grummer said. “We have a regulation in place that you cannot trailer a boat down the road with any water on board. Your transom plug and livewell plugs need to be removed. The reason for that regulation is to try to help reduce the spread of this invasive species.” Grummer said
The DNR will monitor Lake Cornelia throughout this summer.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)