South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks (GFP) classified McCook Lake as infested with zebra mussels. Therefore, special measures need to be taken to avoid spreading mussels to other water areas.
Member of the McCook Lake Association discovered mussels during maintenance before the Memorial Day Weekend. Later, the results from the samples showed that adult zebra mussels live in several parts of the lake.
Zebra mussels were also found reproducing in large numbers in Clark Lake and Lewis near Yankton in August 2015. This situation called for a collaboration of multiple federal, state and local agencies from Nebraska and South Dakota aiming to establish the problems that might appear.
Therefore, enforcement efforts and boat inspections increased to make sure that boaters were obeying the rules. According to Emmett Keyser, southeast regional supervisor of GFP, at a recent checkpoint on Clark and Lewis Lake, some people who entered the area with their boats were cited. All recreational boaters and anglers have to understand that spreading the mussels must be avoided.
The boating public plays a crucial role in fighting against marine invasive species. Therefore, boaters must always leave their drains open and plugs out when they are not in the water. The first step to avoid spreading an aquatic invasive species is to have a completely drained boat.
Experts urge boaters and anglers that use waters infested with zebra mussels, to clean their boats with 140-degree water and let them become 100% percent dry before launching them in clear waters. According to GFP chief of aquatic resources, John Lott, South Dakota waters are starting to reach the ideal water temperatures for the spread of juvenile veligers.
He also added that boaters and anglers must completely drain their boats and be extra careful before launching their boats on the water. Plus, unhealthy levels of E.coli were registered in the water of Lake Alvin. GFP classified the water as not being safe for swimming and closed the lake. However, fishing is allowed.
According to Jason Bauman, GFP district park supervisor, more than 235 E.coli colonies found in the water are considered unsafe, because the levels are established by the number of colonies per 100 milliliters of water.
Hopefully, these waters will soon become safer as officials, boaters and anglers are doing their best to tackle the zebra mussels and other possible threats.
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