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Archive for Sunday, December 24, 2006

Zebra mussels found at Winfield City Lake

December 24, 2006

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Wildlife and Parks officials have confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Winfield City Lake.

"It's unfortunate that these mussels have spread to another lake," state official Jason Goeckler said. "Zebra mussels reproduce rapidly. Once introduced, new populations can expand quickly and cause great damage."

Once zebra mussels become established, they are nearly impossible to eradicate. Native to eastern Europe, the zebra mussel is a fingernail-sized, D-shaped mollusk that typically has a dark and white pattern on the shell.

Since introduction into the United States in 1988, the zebra mussel has spread from the Great Lakes Region to Midwestern streams.

In Kansas, they were discovered in El Dorado Reservoir in 2003, and now Winfield City Lake. Wildlife and Parks officials are working with Winfield to mitigate their presence.

"Because this infestation is relatively new," Goeckler said, "well informed management actions are necessary to ensure the zebra mussels do not spread."

All Winfield City Lake users must now adhere to the following precautions:

l never move fish from one body of water to another.

l empty bait buckets on dry land, not into lakes.

l inspect boats, trailers, skis, anchors and all other equipment and remove any visible organisms and vegetation.

l wash equipment with 140-degree water, a 10-percent chlorine and water solution, or dry for at least five days to remove or kill species that are not visible.

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