GRDA Warns Boaters of Zebra Mussels Issues

For more information on zebra mussels or to report a possible sighting in GRDA waters, contact the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department at (918) 782 4726.

The Grand River Dam Authority is reminding lake users of the problems with zebra mussels in lake waters.

Zebra mussels are considered "public enemy number one" by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. They are considered a nuisance because of their ability to attach to nearly any solid surface and rapidly reproduce.

"Unfortunately, history has shown that once they are in a body of water, there is really no effective means to remove them, and it's possible that we will see more and more of them in the years ahead," said GRDA Communications Director Justin Alberty. "However, steps can be taken to prevent their spread, so we want the public to be aware of their presence and some of the issues surrounding the mussels."

To prevent the spread of zebra mussels, the GRDA asks all lake users to follow these steps:

Boats should not be left in the water for extended periods of time. With regular use, engine heat should keep mussels from colonizing inside most engine parts.

Always drain the bilge water, live wells and bait buckets.

Inspect the boat and trailer immediately upon leaving the water.

Scrape off any mussels found. Do NOT return them to the water.

If possible, dry the boat and trailer for at least a week before entering another waterway.

Wash boat parts and accessories that contact the water using hot water (at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit), a ten percent solution of household chlorine bleach or a hot saltwater solution. Do not wash the boat at the ramp where these solutions could pollute the water. Always finish with a clean rinse.