Letter to the Editor

ZEBRA MUSSELS

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I see the blame game has started and one of those playing it appears to be Russ Mitchell, Managing Editor of The Dickinson County News with his recent statement regarding the infestation of zebra mussels in the Iowa Great Lakes.

He states, "the mussels aren't native to the Iowa Great Lakes and he states northwest Iowa waters became contaminated when boaters failed to property drain, clean and dry boats as they moved from one lake to another."

While this could certainly be true, he quickly and, I feel unjustly, blames one particular facet for the problem.

There are many, many ways these pest items can be transported. Young zebra mussels in their larval form are called "veligers" and are microscopic in size, undetectable by the human eye.

It would seem to me that these larval could easily become embedded in the plumage of the enormous population of Canada geese and other waterfowl of our area. This source appears almost impossible to control. I understand it has been documented that several species of fish and diving ducks have been known to eat the small mussels. I don't know if we have those species, but hope they get busy or they will get behind.

Gordon Hansch

Spirit Lake