Water samples from initial testing this spring haven’t been processed, but zebra mussels in the Red River remain at relatively low abundance, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department says.
According to Jessica Howell, aquatic nuisance species coordinator for Game and Fish in Jamestown, adult zebra mussels were found again last year in the Red River, but the department did not do any specific searches, and none are planned for this summer.
Larval zebra mussels, known as veligers, first were detected in the Red River in 2010 near Wahpeton, likely drifting downstream from infested waters in the Minnesota portion of the watershed.
Game and Fish takes water samples from May through October along the Red River to test for larval zebra mussels, Howell said. The invasive mollusks can choke out native mussels, clog water intakes and cover docks, beaches and other hard surfaces.
High water levels prevented Game and Fish for searching for adult zebra mussels last year along the Red River, Howell said. Besides being dangerous, high river levels make zebra mussels difficult to detect, she said.
“We did see a couple of small zebra mussels on docks pulled out of the river in the fall” in Wahpeton, Howell said.