MILFORD -- Zebra mussels have been found at yet another Kansas lake.
After a day on Milford Reservoir Monday, a diligent boater was following the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks "clean, drain, dry" protocol for fighting the spread of zebra mussels when he discovered a few of the aquatic nuisance species on his boat. He immediately called KDWP staff, who found two adult mussels in the water where the boater had pulled out.
"At first, we considered a localized rapid response treatment of that part of the lake," said Jason Goeckler, KDWP aquatic nuisance specialist. "We had sampled the lake in October and found no zebra mussels, so it initially seemed that a localized treatment might be helpful. However, we surveyed again and found another adult mussel in the middle of the lake, so at this point we have to consider this a lake-wide infestation.
"This is an unfortunate situation that happens all too frequently, but we are very grateful to the alert boater for following protocol and notifying the department," Goeckler added. "There are way fewer biologists than boaters, and we really rely on them to help monitor our lakes and keep them ANS-free. This boater serves as an example for all Kansas boaters, and we thank him. His discovery is the latest call to action for boaters and all lake users."
Zebra mussels did not infest Milford on their own. Other than downstream movement, they can only be spread by human movement. One irresponsible lake user can transport mussels from an infested lake to another water body. However, three simple steps -- clean, drain, and dry -- can help prevent the spread of mussels.