The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reminds lake property owners to check their boat and trailers, as well as docks and lifts, for aquatic invasive species before storing them for the winter.
Aquatic invasive species include zebra mussels to Eurasian watermilfoil. They move from one water body to another by hitchhiking on boats, in bait buckets, and on other equipment used in the water. Aquatic invasive species can create serious problems for Iowa waters and negatively impact the quality of outdoor recreation experiences.
The DNR’s Kim Bogenschutz urges lake property owners to visually inspect areas that have been submerged for months as they are brought out of the water, and touch smooth surfaces to check for juvenile zebra mussels that feel like sandpaper. Juvenile zebra mussels are often invisible to the human eye.
Zebra mussels were first discovered in Storm Lake four years ago. Drought conditions led to more zebra mussel shells appearing in and around Storm Lake this past summer. In Iowa, it is illegal to possess or transport prohibited aquatic invasive species, or to transport any aquatic plants on water-related equipment.