Zebra Mussels Invade Lake of the Ozarks
"It is a small mussel that was found originally in the Caspian Sea," said Brian Canaday of the Missouri Department of Conservation. "It was likely transported to the U.S. through some ballast water in international shipping."
So, the first sighting of an inch-long mussel at the lake is bad news.
"Zebra mussels reproduce so quickly that they can very quickly cover any hard surface," added Canaday. "That can be a problem for, say, water intakes, boat holes or docks, those kind of things."
The razor-sharp mussels also can cause problems for swimmers and boaters like Gene Chadwick.
"You can't have stuff growing in the water," he said. "We do a lot of swimming and boating and stuff down here, and you don't want to jump off the end of a dock and have a sharp item to get cut on."
The conservation department suggests checking your boat, propellers, trolling motors, live wells and trailers for mussels. Power washing is the best way to get rid of the pests.