LINCOLN, Neb. – A recent incident at central Nebraska’s Calamus Reservoir is a reminder for all water users – especially boaters – to clean, drain and dry their equipment after every use, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
A catfish tournament at Calamus attracted anglers from several states. A Game and Parks aquatic invasive species technician inspected the boat of a nonresident participant and discovered zebra mussel shells in the boat live well. The boat previously had been on a Kansas reservoir, and blue catfish caught there apparently regurgitated adult zebra mussels in the live well.
The boat, which already had been on the water, was impounded and decontaminated before being allowed to launch again on Calamus. Game and Parks believes the zebra mussels in the live well were dead and the risk of zebra mussels being introduced to Calamus was minimal.
“It is imperative that all anglers and boaters practice Clean, Drain and Dry of all their equipment, and that no lake or river water from any water body be transported to any other water body,” Game and Parks Fisheries Division Administrator Dean Rosenthal said.
Boaters should drain all water from their boat, including gas motors (tilt the motor up and down to help drain water from the lower unit). Use a towel to speed the drying of other areas on a boat, such as the live well. Boaters who plan to launch into a different water body within five days should spray all water storage areas with vinegar to assist in killing any young, microscopic mussels that might be present.
Anglers who plan to harvest fish should transport them on ice. It is illegal to transport any fish in water from any non-domestic sources.
Find additional information about aquatic invasive species, their threat, and what water users can do about them at stopaquatichitchhikers.org/.