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Jeremy Gaston/Herald-Chronicle
Melvern Lake Natural Resource Manager Jim Franz shows boaters at Melvern Marina samples of zebra mussel shells. Many boaters are still just becoming aware of the nuisance species and how to prevent it from spreading.

Jeremy Gaston | Editor

MELVERN—The result of routine testing followed by a confirmation assessments last week have confirmed the presence of zebra mussels at Melvern Lake.

Officials with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the nuisance species presence in both Melvern Lake and Council Grove Reservoir June 29. Thirteen of the state’s reservoirs are now considered infested.

“We expected Council Grove Reservoir because zebra mussels naturally move downstream, and they were found in Council Grove City Lake last July,” said KDWPT aquatic nuisance species biologist Jason Goeckler. “The Melvern infestation is a different story because it could have been prevented. I still think we can prevent further spread of aquatic nuisance species if lake users will follow a few basic precautions.”

Goeckler’s department received results from a positive sample on June 25. They returned to Melvern Lake June 27 to take a second set of samples to confirm the presence of veligers, zebra mussel larvae. On June 29, they returned to the lake and confimed the presence of developed mussels.

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