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Conservation Department warns residents about Zebra Mussel


The recent discovery of zebra mussels in the Grand Lake of northeast Oklahoma has caused Missouri conservation officials to worry about a possible environmental threat. Mike Smith has the story.

The recent discovery of zebra mussels in the Grand Lake of northeast Oklahoma has caused Missouri conservation officials to worry about a possible environmental threat.

Scott Faiman is a biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

He says zebra mussels are not native to the area and could harm the environment if they spread to the Ozarks.

Faiman says the mussels could afftect fishing.

He says they also have an economic impact by clogging power plants and water intakes.

Faiman says one female mussel can produce up to one-million eggs per year.

Scott Faiman says zebra mussels spread by attaching to boats in the water and can live in vegetation up to 10 days by staying moist.

He says there are several ways to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.

Faiman says zebra mussels are about one quarter of an inch to an inch in size with dark and white stripes.

These mussels came from Eastern Europe and Western Asian through the Great Lakes in Michigan in 1998.

For more information about zebra mussels go to www.conservation.state.mo.us.