As soon as you pull your boat out of the water, follow these steps:
Zebra Mussels Invade Oklahoma
Zebra mussels are a serious threat to Oklahoma sport fish populations. Zebra mussels accumulate on the shells of native mussels and crayfish, smothering their hosts.
Zebra mussels potentially pose a multi-billion-dollar threat to industrial and public water supplies. Through both downstream movement and transport by uninformed boaters, zebra mussels have infested several lakes in Oklahoma. Zebra mussels compete with forage fish like minnows and shad for nutrients, and the Wildlife Department has already observed a decline in forage fish in affected waters. Zebra mussels can also be transported in their larval form through the movement of water from one lake to another. It is vital that each boater takes responsibility to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.
They can be found at Sooner Lake, Kaw Lake, Keystone Lake, Oologah Lake, Skiatook Lake, Ft. Gibson Lake, Eufaula Lake, Texoma Lake, Hudson Lake, Grand Lake, W.R. Holway Lake, Ponca City Lake, Lake Carl Blackwell, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir, Red River, McClellan – Kerr Navigation System, Bluestem Lake, Eucha Lake, Claremore Lake, Arkansas River system and Webbers Falls.
What your Wildlife Department is doing about the ANS threat
The Wildlife Department’s ANS program takes several steps to keep the waters clean in Oklahoma. ODWC proposes and enforces regulations which inhibit the transport and possession of aquatic nuisance species. The department works cooperatively with other state and federal agencies on early detection programs for invasive mussels and fish. The ANS program also secures federal funding for universities to research invasive species and the risk they pose to our state’s resources.
Outreach and education make up the forefront of the ANS program. ODWC uses publications such as brochures, species watch cards, and this fishing guide to educate Oklahoma’s boaters and anglers about aquatic nuisance species. The fisheries division has also posted “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers” signs at boats ramps throughout the state. These signs create awareness about how to properly clean your boat and equipment to ensure invasive species don’t hitch a ride to another lake.
Want more info? Visit ProtectYourWaters.net.
Think you found ANS? Contact biologist Curtis Tackett at (405) 521-3721.