June 18, 2010

Efforts underway to tighten ANS control

Efforts underway to tighten ANS control

By Patricia Stockdill

They’re out there and they’re inching ever closer.
“They” are zebra mussels and they’re in Pelican Lake, a Minnesota lake 50 miles east of Fargo.
The problem isn’t that Minnesota anglers fish North Dakota waters and vice-versa, which alone can spread zebra mussels.
The problem is Pelican Lake’s outflow is the Pelican River, which flows into the Ottertail River. The Ottertail River meets the Bois de Sioux River at Breckenridge, Minn., becoming the Red River.
The Red River flows north to Lake Winnipeg and the Hudson Bay drainage. All are popular fishing destinations for in-state and out-of-state anglers.
Zebra mussels could easily hitch a ride west – Devils Lake, Lake Sakakawea or the Missouri River
No one knows when or if they will enter North Dakota’s waterways.
However, one thing is certain – if North Dakota’s waters become infested with invasive, non-native aquatic nuisance species (ANS), it means lost dollars and lost natural resources, potentially influencing North Dakota’s electric power generation and water supplies. ANS is more than a problem for anglers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts.
It means large dollars and extensive manpower trying to prevent the spread of a preventable problem.
And none would cure the problem or make it go away.
Zebra mussels attach themselves to hard surfaces, such as rocks.
Or boats
 


The Weather Network