The Department of Conservation says zebra mussels have been present in the Missouri and Osage Rivers and the
Laura Davison (Columbia, Mo.)
The species spreads from one body of water to another by attaching themselves to boating equipment. Brian Canaday is the Fisheries Division Field Operations Chief at the Department of Conservation. He said increased awareness about zebra mussels has helped combat the problem.
“We’ve really ramped up our monitoring for zebra mussels. By in large, things have kind of leveled off. We’re able to make folks much more aware that they have a big role to play in helping us prevent these things from getting to other bodies of water,” said Canaday.
Zebra mussels were first found in the Mississippi River twenty years ago, but they weren’t found in the Lake of the Ozarks until 2006. Since then, the Department of Conservation has launched a campaign to let boaters know how they can prevent zebra mussels from spreading.
Canaday also said boaters should clean all equipment that comes in contact with water and to let all equipment dry in the sun.