Gov. Noem speaks out on zebra mussels’ invasion

South Dakota News

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The discovery of zebra mussels in a second Missouri River reservoir in South Dakota has the attention of Governor Kristi Noem.

She used her latest column to warn boaters to pull their plugs before and after they’ve had their crafts in South Dakota waters.

Noem’s message came two weeks after the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission adopted emergency rules.

Commissioners declared Lake Francis Case and Lake Sharpe as containment waters July 24.

Boaters must follow special procedures for decontamination when leaving the waters and after their boats were moored.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found zebra mussels at the Francis Case dam near Fort Thompson earlier this summer.

Zebra mussels aren’t native to the Missouri River.

Lake Oahe is the only Missouri River reservoir in South Dakota that hasn’t been put on the containment list.

The emergency rules last 90 days. Permanent rules are expected to be proposed at the commission’s next regular meeting September 5-6 in Spearfish.

Commission members said last month they hoped someone in a high-profile role would join the fight against the invasive species.

Noem stated that the “only way for mussels to move from lake to lake” would be accidentally on people’s boats.

The commission has classified 11 species of fish, eight species of plants and seven species of invertebrates as invasive.

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