An invasive species that could “spur major ecological and economic damage” was recently found on a boat bound for Lake Lanier.
Officials with the Wildlife Resource Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently removed about a gallon of dead zebra mussels from a boat taken to Lake Lanier after being used on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga.
After being notified, DNR employees worked with the boat’s owner to make sure the boat was drained, cleaned and dried.
“Zebra mussels, a species native to eastern Europe that has spread to many U.S. waters, including the Tennessee River, pose a significant risk to Georgia,” officials said in a news release. “If established here, they could spur major ecological and economic damage. Zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species can cause millions of dollars in damage to boats and water intake pipes, while undermining native mussels and other aquatic species.”
DNR officials praised the boat owner for recognizing the issue and taking necessary steps to report it and urged boat owners to clean, drain and dry their boats to stop the spread.
There are no known populations of zebra mussels in Georgia, though, in March, they were found attached to moss ball plants sold for aquariums in pet stores in the state.
More information on zebra mussels and other invasive species can be found at georgiawildlife.com.