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Waterfowl hunters reminded to clean, drain, and dry to prevent spread of aquatic invasive species

Zebra mussels encrust a fallen tree.

LINCOLN, Neb. – As the waterfowl season approaches, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is reminding hunters to help prevent the spread of potentially damaging aquatic invasive species.

Zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, New Zealand mudsnails and other aquatic invasive species can “hitchhike” on hunting gear and be spread by droplets of water or tiny plant fragments. Aquatic invasive species cause irreparable harm to aquatic ecosystems and waterfowl habitat, severely impeding hunting, fishing and boating for future generations.

“By taking a few minutes to clean, drain and dry their gear, waterfowl hunters can ensure their favorite hunting spots remain preserved for the present and future,” said Kristopher Stahr, Game and Parks’ aquatic invasive species program manager. “By all of us doing our part, we can prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and protect our state’s waters.”

Game and Parks regulations require anglers, hunters and boaters conduct clean, drain and dry procedures after leaving a water body and prior to entering another. Hunters should remove any visible plants or mud from their gear and ensure all water is drained before leaving their hunting site. They also should clean their gear with high pressure or hot water and let it dry for at least five days before reusing.

Visit stopaquatichitchhikers.org/prevention/#waterfowl-hunters for details and for more information on aquatic invasive species.

Report any suspected observation of zebra mussels or other aquatic invasive species to Game and Parks at 531-500-3746 or at neinvasives.com.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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