TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) Summertime in Kansas is a great time for everyone to enjoy the wildlife and plants native to the Sunflower state.
However, a few unwelcome species also are turning up. In fact, they can even cause a disturbance to an entire city and it typically begins with an innocent trip to the lake.
Fishing and boating have ramped up with outdoor lovers wanting to cool off and beat the heat, but unknowingly they might be bringing back an invasive species and transferring them from lake to lake.
Director of the Information Services Division with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, Ron Kaufman, knows just how troublesome some the foreign species can be to lakes here in Kansas.
The most common in Northeast Kansas are the Zebra Mussel and Asian Carp and White Perch. Zebra Mussels latch onto any solid surface below the water level damaging boating and fishing equptment, while Asian Carp have been known to fly out of the water and injur boaters."
Asian Carp, foreign to Kansas waters have a negative impact on fishing according to manager of the Lake Perry Yacht and Marina in Perry, Kansas, "They compete with native species for food but eat three times as much so our fish population is down and fishing isnt as good and we cant enjoy it as much."
Zebra Mussels have already left their mark here in Kansas before summer could even begin. A large amount clogged water intake valves in Council Grove, forcing the city to shut its water supply down briefly in May.
Kaufman has some simple steps that boaters should take into consideration to ensure that these aquatic nuisances do not take over a lake near you.
Ron says, "Practice clean drain and dry procedures after you take your boat out of the water and do not move fish upstream from a lake."
You can find more tips to fight invasive species at protectkswaters.org and clicking on the boating tab.