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Boater vigilance urged to keep invasive mussels out of Georgia waters

Zebra mussels could pose problems to Georgia waterways.
Zebra mussels could pose problems to Georgia waterways.(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 3:25 PM CDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Officials are warning boaters about invasive zebra mussels that could find their way into Georgia waterways by hitching a ride on your boat.

Officials want to make sure you’re cleaning, draining and drying your vessel after boating in another state.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources warns that the mussels can cause millions in damage to boats and pipes while hurting the ecosystem.

Most recently, owners of a boat taken to Lanier after being used on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga, Tenn., spotted zebra mussels on the boat and called authorities.

Staff from the Department of Natural Resources removed about a gallon of dead mussels from the boat and worked with the owners to ensure the vessel was drained, properly cleaned and thoroughly 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.

There is no known established population in Georgia. However, in March zebra mussels were found in Georgia pet stores attached to moss ball plants being sold for aquariums.

For more information on these aquatic invaders and how to prevent their spread, visit georgiawildlife.com/ans.

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