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    1. Back To Top    #1
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      Zebra Mussels Discovered in Lake Ashtabula

      June 17, 2019

      Zebra Mussels Discovered in Lake Ashtabula
      The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has confirmed the presence of invasive zebra mussels in Lake Ashtabula.
      Last week, an angler discovered a suspected zebra mussel and turned it into Game and Fish aquatic nuisance species coordinator Jessica Howell. Howell confirmed it as an adult zebra mussel, and subsequent inspections of Lake Ashtabula, an impoundment on the Sheyenne River in Barnes and Griggs counties in east central North Dakota, also found well-established populations of zebra mussels of various ages throughout the lake.
      At 5,200 acres, Lake Ashtabula is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and it offers a variety of outdoor activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, camping and skiing. Howell said it’s unknown how these small, sharp-shelled mussels were introduced into Lake Ashtabula, and there is no known method to completely rid a lake of zebra mussels.
      “This situation shows how important it is for boaters, anglers, swimmers and skiers to be aware of aquatic nuisance species and to take precautions to prevent their spread,” Howell said. “Everyone who uses this lake now plays a key role in stemming the spread of these mussels to uninfested waters.”
      Because of this new finding, the Game and Fish Department has classified Lake Ashtabula, and the Sheyenne River downstream all the way to the Red River, as Class I ANS infested water. Emergency rules will go into effect immediately to prohibit the movement of water away from the lake and river, including water for transferring bait. Notices will be posted at lake access sites and popular shore-fishing spots along the river.
      The Red River is the state’s only other Class I ANS water. Adult zebra mussels were discovered in the Red in 2015.
      Prevention is the best way to avoid spreading ANS, Howell said, as they often travel by “hitchhiking” with unsuspecting lake-goers. “Always clean, drain and dry boats and other equipment before using another lake,” Howell said. “Also, don’t transfer lake water or live fish to another body of water. This can help stop the spread of not only zebra mussels, but most aquatic nuisance species that may be present.”
      Zebra mussels attach to solid objects, so lake-goers should be careful when handling mussel-encrusted objects and when grabbing an underwater object when they can’t see what their hands may be grasping. Visitors should protect their feet when wading, or walking on shoreline rocks.
      Zebra mussels are just one of the nonnative aquatic species that threaten North Dakota waters and native wildlife, Howell said. North Dakota regulations designed to prevent the spread of ANS include:

      • Remove aquatic vegetation before leaving the water access and do not import into North Dakota.
      • Drain all water before leaving the water access.
      • Remove drain plugs and devices that hold back water, and leave open and out during transport.
      • Do not import bait. For Class I ANS Infested waters, bait cannot be transported in water away from the river or lake. In all other areas, bait must be transported in a container that holds 5 gallons or less. Fish cleaning stations are available around Lake Ashtabula to dispose of unused bait. Remember that it is illegal to dump unused bait on shore or into the lake. If no fish cleaning station is available, place in a dry container and dispose of the bait at home.

      In addition to North Dakota regulations, the Game and Fish Department strongly recommends that all equipment is cleaned, drained and dried every time it is used.

      • Clean – remove plants, animals, and excessive mud prior to leaving a water access
      • Drain – drain all water prior to leaving a water access
      • Dry – allow equipment to dry completely before using again or disinfect

      For more information about aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota, options for disinfection, or to report a possible ANS, visit https://gf.nd.gov/ans.

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    2. Back To Top    #2
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      Make it mandatory that all boats coming into the state be inspected. But the game and fish is to f#*$ing dumb to realize this might help.

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    3. Back To Top    #3
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      Too bad, the sheyenne is my favorite place to fish

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    4. Back To Top    #4
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      ...thanks Minnesota

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    5. Back To Top    #5
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      :-l << This is my surprised face now and in the future when the next domino (lake) falls...

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    6. Back To Top    #6
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      Do Zebra Mussels eat bullheads?

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    7. Back To Top    #7
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      it's inevitable

      I say seed them everywhere and get on with balancing out of the ecosystem

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      Quote Originally Posted by GSM View Post
      Do Zebra Mussels eat bullheads?
      no, you're thinking of Cub Scouts in 1973

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    8. Back To Top    #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by martinslanding View Post
      ...thanks Minnesota
      I'm blaming the sconis they were in Wisconsin first.

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    9. Back To Top    #9
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      Coming to Sak and Devils in no time thanks to the G & F doing absolutely nothing to prevent them at the border

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      Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right.

    10. Back To Top    #10
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      imo -- i have stated this before --- i believe it is some local that brings them in. VIA - boat with a bladder (ski boat-moomba like) or its some guy with a pump hose, dock, lift, weed roller, or even the pontoon guys (they cant see everything to spray off like i can with my boat). I seen a lift on highway two coming from grand forks used fkr with plenty of barnacles hanging from it. How many pontoons have the same shit hanging off from them going west. Some guy from fargo buys a toon and a lift in sota world and brings it ashtray. How do you police it when these guys dont use a public access for the lift. Why is it taking so long for Devils to get zebras -- why because i think fishermen are more responsible and a lot of the locals are fishermen that care.

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    11. Back To Top    #11
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      An established population of zebs can really increase water clarity. You can see 15 feet down on Ottertail now.

      I hear the Ashtray gets pretty scummy in the summer. Wonder if they'll filter out the algae blooms??

      Sorry...it's sucky news. But maybe a silver lining??

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      Remember to always practice CPR: Catch, Pickle and Refrigerate!

    12. Back To Top    #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by shorthairsrus View Post
      imo -- i have stated this before --- i believe it is some local that brings them in. VIA - boat with a bladder (ski boat-moomba like) or its some guy with a pump hose, dock, lift, weed roller, or even the pontoon guys (they cant see everything to spray off like i can with my boat). I seen a lift on highway two coming from grand forks used fkr with plenty of barnacles hanging from it. How many pontoons have the same shit hanging off from them going west. Some guy from fargo buys a toon and a lift in sota world and brings it ashtray. How do you police it when these guys dont use a public access for the lift. Why is it taking so long for Devils to get zebras -- why because i think fishermen are more responsible and a lot of the locals are fishermen that care.
      Devils lake probably has them now and we wont know it for a few years

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      They've obviously been in there awhile. It's only a matter of time before they are in every body of water. They aren't the complete disaster the government agencies make them out to be but they are an issue for intakes and such. Hopefully they clean up the Ash tray and the bullheads disappear.

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    14. Back To Top    #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Duckslayer100 View Post
      An established population of zebs can really increase water clarity. You can see 15 feet down on Ottertail now.

      I hear the Ashtray gets pretty scummy in the summer. Wonder if they'll filter out the algae blooms??

      Sorry...it's sucky news. But maybe a silver lining??
      gin clear water = shit fishing

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    15. Back To Top    #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by riverview View Post
      Devils lake probably has them now and we wont know it for a few years
      I know what they look like and have seen how they started. The ramps that i use have rocks and pipe -- i have scraped them down and looked for juvis --- i havent seen them "yet". I dont doubt they are already in the lake.

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      Clear water also increases weed growth.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Wags2.0 View Post
      Clear water also increases weed growth.

      ... good thing there aren't any weeds on Ashtabula now

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    18. Back To Top    #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wags2.0 View Post
      gin clear water = shit fishing
      however... gin clear water also means no supper for the striped marauders

      most water bodies eventually find a happy medium I hope

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    19. Back To Top    #19
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      as far as big green ---it could blue and kill your dog.

      Go smallmouth - hope you boys get real hungry.

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      I just called Steinwands office. I left a lengthy message with his secretary. The game and fish just pays for billboards and basically is doing nothing to prevent the spread. Good luck moving fish and stocking lakes without spreading this across every lake in the state. Every test net and piece of equipment the game and fish uses will help spread zebra mussels. Zebra mussels are a worst case scenario for a lake.

      - - - Updated - - -

      I want to see the NDGF SOP for drying tests nets, boats, tanks, and equipment. I hope I’m wrong and they have a detailed process for cleaning up their equipment because they literally go from lake to lake stocking and test netting.

      - - - Updated - - -

      And I told you so!!!!!!!

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