Zebra Mussels in Nebraska
Boating season is once again upon us and it is time to remember to clean, drain and dry watercrafts, angling equipment and any other items that come in contact with a waterbody between uses. Zebra mussels, an invasive small mussel species, can live out of water for up to 2 weeks in the summer time in the right conditions and cleaning, draining and drying watercrafts and equipment for at least 5 days before launching in a different waterbody is pertinent. Currently there is no effective way to eliminate 100% of zebra mussels from a waterbody so prevention is key.
There are many researchers striving to find effective management tools so the less waterbodies we have with zebra mussels the better off we will be when management tools become available. We currently have 4 waterbodies in Nebraska with zebra mussel infestations: Lewis & Clark Lake, Lake Yankton, Offutt Air Force Base Lake and the entire length of the Missouri River. It is imperative if you boat or fish at any of them to following the clean, drain, dry protocols which can be found here: https://neinvasives.com/resources/stop-aquatic-hitchhikers/.
If you have on a waterbody and are interested in outreach materials you can request them by emailing Allison Zach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was reviewed by Katie Pekarek - Extension Eduator