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Game and Fish issue a warning for zebra mussels

Zebra mussels- Wyoming Game and Fish Dept.
Zebra mussels- Wyoming Game and Fish Dept.(Wyoming Game and Fish | Mia Johnson)
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 4:01 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department are issuing a warning to those with a fish bowl, aquarium or terrarium. A highly invasive species known as zebra mussles are spreading through marimo moss balls.

Moss balls are common items to use for decoration or to oxygenate the water.

“Even if you don’t see the mussels on this stuff, doesn’t mean they’re not there,” said Sara DiRienzo, Game and Fish Public Information Officer.

DiRienzo said the mussels can be as small as a grain of sand, but they procreate very rapidly and can quickly infiltrate many aquatic habitats. Game and Fish said if these mussels were to infiltrate our municipal water systems, it could be devastating to the ecosystems.

DiRienzo goes further to emphasize the importance of the disposal process to get rid of these species. If they were to be disposed of improperly, it could prompt further contamination to our bodies of water.

“Remove any pets and any other equipment from your fish tank. Take that marimo ball and pour the plant water and any other vegetation you have into a heat-safe pot and bring it to a boil for five minutes. You want to be really careful to not let any of this water go down the drain, or flush it down the toilet or pour it outside somewhere,” said DiRienzo.

Game and Fish say to contact them if you discover any mussels because aside from being dangerous, it is illegal to possess invasive species as well.

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