June 15, 2015
This week’s On the Radio segment looks at the rise of an invasive species in another Iowa lake. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.
Transcript: Zebra Mussels
An invasive aquatic species may wreak havoc on another Iowa lake this summer.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
Zebra mussels, fingernail-sized creatures that attach to hard surfaces in water, have been found in larval form in Big Spirit Lake in far northwest Iowa. These were most likely spread by the bottoms of boats or trailers from East and West Okoboji lakes, which reported infestations in 2012.
While small, zebra mussels can present big problems by clogging pipes for the water supply and attaching to boat motors. They can also create biodiversity problems by attaching to and smothering native mussels and by reducing available food supplies for fish and other animals.
While eliminating the mussels from the ecosystem is difficult, it is possible to contain the spread. The Department of Natural Resources recommends that boaters thoroughly wash their boats and equipment and let it dry for several days before moving them to other bodies of water. It may be necessary to search for mussels in or on boats and remove them manually.
For more information about invasive species, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.
From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.