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zebra mussel

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is monitoring Big Spirit Lake in the Iowa Great Lake chain after a juvenile and larval zebra mussel were found in the lake. The zebra mussel competes with native fish and mussels, clogs pipes, cuts swimmers' feet and will pile up on rocks, docks, swimming platforms and anything else in the water.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa | Three additional juvenile zebra mussels have been found attached to docks and hoists removed from East Okoboji Lake, increasing the likelihood that the invasive species may be establishing itself in the Iowa Great Lakes, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said.

Investigation of a number of docks and hoists from other lakes in the chain did not turn up any additional mussels, the agency said in a release.

The DNR found the mollusks this month as part of a monitoring program after a single zebra mussel was found in Upper Gar Lake in September.

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Kim Bogenschutz, the DNR’s aquatic invasive species program coordinator, said it's too soon to know whether there's a reproducing population of zebra mussels in the lakes. It's not clear what effect an established population would have.

Zebra mussels, an Asian species introduced into North American waters by oceangoing ships in the 1980s, compete with native species for food and adhere to hard objects, including intake pipes. There is no known effective treatment to eradicate or control them once they have infested a lake. -- Associated Press

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