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Wyoming Game and Fish is urging residents to participate in moss ball take-back program before warm weather sets in

Aquarium Moss balls warning from Kentucky Department of  Fish and Wildlife
Aquarium Moss balls warning from Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife(Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -Wyoming Game and Fish launched their moss ball take-back program last week. They are urging citizens to participate with the chance to win $1,200. If moss balls are disposed improperly or ignored, it could be detrimental to the environment.

Wyoming Game and Fish are accepting Marimo moss balls, commonly found in fish tanks and terrariums, in return for raffle tickets. Last month, Game and Fish announced a PSA that an invasive aquatic species, zebra mussels, was found in these moss balls. The Department of Agriculture put a quarantine on the moss balls, but Game and Fish are still worried there are some being left unchecked.

If the zebra mussels spread to our bodies of water, it could be disastrous; especially when paired with the inevitable warm weather.

“They go into a dormant state in the winter and they’re not reproducing that much, but when the temperature raises, that is when they start being able to reproduce and so the summer is a crucial time for us to really still be monitoring if zebra mussels have made it into our natural waters or not,” said Sara DiRienzo, Public Information Officer of Wyoming Game and Fish.

Wyoming Game and Fish decided to start a raffle for $1,200, and anyone who turns in moss balls are able to have entries.

“You can bring them there in a plastic container or a Ziploc bag that is sealed, drop them off, and then when you drop off your moss ball, you can scan a QR code and enter a really short form to be entered into the raffle, and you can enter the raffle for each moss ball that you turn back in,” said DiRienzo.

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