Thursday, February 9th, 2023
Thursday, February 9th, 2023

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Zebra mussels found in Iowa-Nebraska border lake

The Iowa DNR is watching Carter Lake after juvenile zebra mussels were recently found in a water sample collected by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) staff. Although veligers were detected, intensive sampling the past week did not find any adult zebra mussels.

Carter Lake, a border water, is jointly managed by the Iowa DNR and NGPC. The Iowa DNR and NGPC collect water samples and deploy settlement samplers in lakes across each state every summer to monitor for the invasive zebra mussel.

Water samples have been collected twice a month in Carter Lake since May.  Additional samples are waiting to be analyzed. The DNR and NGPC will closely monitor Carter Lake this summer and fall to determine if it has an established population of zebra mussels.

“Finding zebra mussel veligers indicates to us that zebra mussels have been introduced into Carter Lake,” said Kim Bogenschutz, the Iowa DNR’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program coordinator. “But, it’s too early to tell if there is an established population in the lake.”

The Missouri River has an expanding zebra mussel population along its entire length downstream of Gavins Point Dam. Other known populations within Iowa include Clear Lake, the Okoboji chain of lakes, and the Mississippi River.

Zebra mussel veligers are microscopic and can be unintentionally transported with water in bilges, live wells or bait buckets. Adult zebra mussels can attach to boats, trailers and aquatic vegetation. Boats using both the Missouri River and Carter Lake are a probable source of introduction, the Iowa DNR said in a news release Tuesday, Aug. 15.

Find more information about aquatic invasive species and a list of infested waters in the 2017 Iowa Fishing Regulations booklet. If you see a zebra mussel, please note its location and contact your local fisheries office or the Aquatic Invasive Species Program in Boone.

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