Thursday, December 18, 2014

State warns against water ‘hitchhikers’

By The Herald Staff | 5/9/2014

TOPEKA — With the future of water in Kansas a priority for Gov. Sam Brownback during his state-of-the-state address in January, the state wants residents to remember they need to be careful when partaking in water activities.

The state advises residents to be aware of the possibility of contaminating lake or river water with aquatic nuisance species, which are non-native species that can threaten the lake and river ecology and interfere with the Kansas economy, according to a news release. Aquatic nuisance species are typically transported to uninfested water by “hitchhiking” on water equipment used by people who are unaware they are transporting them.

TOPEKA — With the future of water in Kansas a priority for Gov. Sam Brownback during his state-of-the-state address in January, the state wants residents to remember they need to be careful when partaking in water activities.

The state advises residents to be aware of the possibility of contaminating lake or river water with aquatic nuisance species, which are non-native species that can threaten the lake and river ecology and interfere with the Kansas economy, according to a news release. Aquatic nuisance species are typically transported to uninfested water by “hitchhiking” on water equipment used by people who are unaware they are transporting them.

“Zebra mussels, Asian carp and white perch are already established in our state,” Brownback said. “They and other unwanted aquatic species pose serious environmental and economic threats, not only to Kansas waters, but also those of other states. Unwary travelers can spread these species between states. As vice chair of the Midwestern Governors Association, I share the concerns of other governors in our region and urge everyone who visits a body of water in any state to take precautions to avoid spreading these species to other waters.”

There are three primary ways to help stop the spread of aquatic nuisance species:

• Clean, drain and dry boats and equipment after every visit to any lake or river, including anything that gets wet, such as tackle, swim gear, footwear and other items.

• Don’t move live fish between bodies of water or up streams.

• Don’t dump plants or animals in the water or drainage ditches. Instead, discard unused bait on dry land or in an approved receptacle, and find a new home with a pet shop or friend for unwanted aquarium species or pets.

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