Aquatic Invaders – Nature’s Calling (Aug 2018)


Welcome to this month’s nature’s calling,
I’m Lucas Bond with the Missouri Department of Conservation. It’s a great time of year to be outside
discovering nature through fishing. But once you’re through fishing remember
not to dump your left-over bait in the water because it could spread invasive species,
like certain types of carp. Invasive Bighead and Silver carp have become
an aggressive nuisance in our natural waters. Silver carp are known for leaping in the air
when startled by boat motors. This invasive species can be dangerous for
boaters when driving or riding in boats. Bighead and silver carp are plankton feeders
and they deplete food used by native sport fish such as bass and crappie. However, their meat is delicious, and many
anglers enjoy it cooked many different ways. One way anglers can help stop the spread of
these invasive carp is to be sure the live bait they’re using is not Bighead or Silver
carp, which can look similar to gizzard shad. Something else you need to be on the look
for while you’re out on the water enjoying your summer are the invasive zebra mussels. This thumbnail-sized mussel from Eurasia can
be found in lakes and streams in more than 20 Missouri counties. Zebra mussels are highly destructive. They alter the ecology of waters they infest
by competing with native fish and other animals for food, clog water intakes and cause millions
of dollars of damage to boats, docks and other property. Steve McMurray: Boaters can do three simple
steps; clean, drain, and dry. So clean their boats. Make sure there’s no mud or debris or anything
attached to it. Drain any residual water out of the boat from
live wells or cooling systems. Things of that nature. And also let it dry in the hot sun for 3 to
5 days if possible. And that will help to prevent the spread of
zebra mussels. Don’t move a mussel, and be sure to clean
your boat and gear thoroughly between trips. Another aquatic invasive species that you
need to be aware of is hydrilla. Hydrilla is a weed that can harm our aquatic
resources. It chokes out local aquatic plant communities,
interferes with boating and fishing, clogs water intake systems, and changes the dynamics
of fish populations. Hydrilla is a submerged aquatic plant that
was introduced to the United States in the early 1950’s, more than likely through the
aquarium trade. At least 29 states including Missouri are
dealing with this invasive species. Hydrilla is very hard to eradicate once it
is found. The best option is preventing the invasive
aquatic plant from spreading. Nate Muenks: It can grow at depths of thirty
feet of water, so it doesn’t require a lot of light. So, the best thing that they can do is to
act through prevention. So, don’t dump your aquarium water out. If you use aquatic equipment, make sure you
clean, drain, and dry that equipment before moving onto another water body. For more information on Invasive Carp, Zebra
Mussels and Hydrilla visit mdc.mo.gov. Thanks for watching and remember nature’s
calling, get out and enjoy Missouri’s outdoors!

Comments 1

  • and please don't pollute our rivers and streams. switch to non-phosphate detergent. phosphate is a big problem in MO lakes too. if you want to have a ranch. please don't build it on a stream. we don't need pig horse, chicken or cow poop where we swim. Wherever possible stop using plastic and if you do, take it to the recycle bin. If you use plastic straws (do they even make paper straws anymore?) you an drop them all down in a plastic jar or bottle until no more will fit. it is the small and micro-small plastic that are killing our aquatic creatures more than the big stuff. But just give a hoot! Don't pollute. Turns out Scotts Lawn Service and all major lawn services claim that their chemicals only kill insects. no, they don't kill mammals but they do kill aquatic, amphibious turtles, fish and water snakes. you name it and if it lives in the rivers and streams (where most pollution goes in as runoff from yards of people who don't know how to pluck a dandelion or don't make dandelion wine and find the pretty yellow flowers a pesky nuisance ~you'll be sorry when most of our aquatics are on the endangered list. If you read this and do it anyway, you will know it is your fault.

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