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Fri April 10, 2009
Aquatic invasive species concern state officials
By Molly Messick
Laramie, WY – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is trying to keep Zebra and Quagga mussels out of state waters. They're invasive species, native to the Caspian, Black and Aral Seas, but they've been found in neighboring states including Utah and Colorado. Robin Kepple of the Game and Fish Department says the mussels are very small, but they can do a lot of damage. "I can show you pictures of a boat motor totally encrusted with Zebra mussels," she said, "or an inside of an irrigation pipe totally encrusted with them. It's sort of like plaque clogging an artery in a heart."
Kepple says the mussels can clog water treatment plants, and change aquatic environments by reducing food sources for fish. The Game and Fish Department is holding a series of meetings around the state to educate boaters, anglers and others. Mussels are often spread by moving watercraft from place to place.