Kansas game warden talks invasive species and their relationship with blue-green algae

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Zebra Mussels are an invasive species that can be transported via boat. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture)

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a blue-green algae warning for Milford Lake Zone B and C in Geary County, as well as a watch for Gathering Pond in Geary County.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game warden Ben Jedlicka spoke with KMAN during In Focus on Friday about the common carp, which is a bottom-feeding fish that can contribute to blue-green algae infestations, in addition to a number of other carp species.
“There’s silver carp, big head carp and black carp,” Jedlicka said. “They’re all on a list that (says) they cannot be imported into Kansas. So they can’t be used for bait and we want to keep them out.”
According to Jedlicka, the silver carp can be a boating hazard, but is found more in the Kansas River beyond Topeka.
He says one of the main sources of invasive species in the United States is shipping in the Great Lakes.
Another invasive species that can be found locally is the Zebra Mussel, which attaches itself to structures and boats.
These can be found on Milford Reservoir banks when the water is down. They can also be found in Tuttle Creek Reservoir, but aren’t commonly found on the banks.
Jedlicka says one way to keep Zebra Mussels from attaching themselves to your boat is to keep the boat clean.
“Dry your boat and disinfect your boat so they don’t get moved,” Jedlicka said. “They start out as microscopic and they’re very easily moved within the bilge of a boat or any water.”
Two other invasive species that can be found in the area are the Marbled Crayfish and New Zealand Mud Snail.
These two species can reproduce asexually, meaning they can reproduce without a mate.
To learn more about invasive species in Kansas what to do about them, visit ksoutdoors.com.
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