Zebra Mussels Confirmed In Lower Lake Sharpe

(KCCR) — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department announced Friday that invasive Zebra Mussels have been confirmed in Lake Sharpe on the Missouri River. The mussels were first noted by the U-S Army Corps of Engineers while performing maintenance at the Big Bend Dam near Fort Thompson. G-F and P officials along with the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed Zebra Mussels during sampling conducted across the southern portions of Lake Sharpe. G-F and P Fisheries Chief John Lott says the mussels so far have only been documented in the southern part of the lake. Additional mussel surveys will be performed in the next few weeks to determine how far up the lake the infestation has moved. Lott says mussel populations in Lake Sharpe are a “game changer” for Aquatic Invasive Species because boaters from across the state use the lake and may transfer the mussels to smaller bodies of water. Zebra mussels can produce up to a million eggs per year, allowing them to rapidly invade new waters. To prevent the spread its recommended boaters clean boats and trailers of plants and mud, drain all water from a vessel immediately after removal from the water and dispose of unwanted bait at the boat launch. Boaters are also encouraged to clean boats off with hot water, 140 degrees and allow five days to dry before relaunching.