Zebra Mussels Discovered in Clear LakeOctober 29, 2022
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Clear Lake in Marshall County.
"GFP staff were notified an individual had found potential zebra mussels on a boat lift at Clear Lake in Marshall County," said Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, Tanner Davis. "GFP staff verified these findings by inspecting boat lifts from the lake."
“As boat ramps and lifts are removed for the year this is a time to be inspecting them for zebra mussels,” said Davis. “Clear Lake is now considered infested with zebra mussels.”
GFP has implemented their Zebra Mussel Rapid Response Team to respond to this infestation. Through this response team GFP will work to notify anglers, boaters, and other recreational users of the zebra mussel presence within the lake. They will place high-profile signs on access areas, actively engage boaters using the infested water, reiterate information on decontamination requirements, and identify groups of people and entities that will be potentially affected by the infestation.
GFP has significantly enhanced efforts to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in recent years, both educating anglers and boaters to clean, drain, dry every time they are on the water as well as physically inspecting boats prior to and/or after loading. GFP also encourages individuals to check lifts and docks as they are removed for the season.
"We have encouraged cabin owners and lake residents to inspect their boats, docks, and lifts as they are pulled out for the season," said GFP Communications Manager, Nick Harrington. "This is another reminder the importance of practicing 'clean, drain, dry' all year long."
To date in 2022, GFP has sent 2 million emails with AIS content, reached 1.3 million individuals on social media, have reminders playing at 43 gas stations, and have placed signage at boat ramps across the state. These efforts have driven over 14,500 visitations to SDLeastWanted.sd.gov.
"We know our message is being received and hope this new infestation shows how individuals can assist with surveillance efforts especially this time of year.," concluded Harrington.
More information regarding AIS in South Dakota can be found at sdleastwanted.sd.gov.
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