Wildlife officials in Missouri are trying to get boaters to help stop the spread of invasive zebra mussels through the region's lakes and rivers.
While the Eurasian mussels have already spawned massive colonies in Kansas' El Dorado Reservoir and in Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, wildlife officials are asking boaters to check their vehicles for the invasive animals, The Kansas City Star said Monday.
"We're very concerned about the possibility of accidentally transferring them into other bodies of water," said Brian Canaday, a Missouri Department of Conservation official.
The mussels are thought to have entered the region's waterways on the hulls of ships. Thorough checks by boaters are considered the most effective way to prevent further infestations elsewhere.
"The big message is, clean out the boats and the trailers," Canaday said.
Each female zebra mussel has the ability to lay more than 1 million eggs Such rampant breeding abilities already have inflicted billions of dollars of damage throughout the region, the Star said.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International