Zebra Mussels Discovered in Blue Dog Lake

September 8, 2022

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Blue Dog Lake in Day County.

"Two adult zebra mussels were found by a local family on their dock over the Labor Day weekend," said Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, Tanner Davis. "GFP Fisheries staff investigated and found an additional mussel on a rock in the water by the dock and another mussel on a neighboring dock."

Blue Dog Lake is now considered infested with zebra mussels.

"Fall is upon us, but practicing 'clean, drain, dry' is still critical for everyone enjoying the fall bite, waterfowl hunting, or some fun on the water," reminded Davis.

  • Clean watercraft and trailers of all aquatic plants and mud.
  • Drain all water by removing all drains, plugs, bailers, or valves that retain water. Be sure to completely drain your lower unit of any water by lowering completely.
  • Dry all equipment that has made contact with the water before it's next use.

Completely draining and drying a boat are the first steps in making sure invasive species are not transferred to other waters. It is important to note that invasive Zebra/Quagga mussels can survive up to 30 days out of water.

Fall is a great time to start looking at submersed equipment such as boat docks, boat lifts, and hard substrate such as rocks and woody debris for zebra mussels. Zebra mussels can vary in size, depending on the age of the mussel. Newly formed mussels can be as microscopic as grains of sandpaper, while adults can grow to two inches in length. GFP encourages boaters to feel along their watercraft below the waterline for any roughness which may indicate that newly formed mussels, called settlers, may have attached.

For more information on zebra mussels, other aquatic invasive species, and how to properly decontaminate your watercraft, or to report potential infestations please visit and report findings on the Citizen Monitoring page or email


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