LAKE LANIER, Ga. — An invasive species of mussel has been found in north Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources posted on Tuesday that zebra mussels were found on a boat at Lake Lanier after it was used on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The boat’s owner spotted the mussels on the boat and called DNR.
Officials removed about a gallon of dead mussels from the boat and worked with the owners to ensure the vessel was drained, properly cleaned and thoroughly dried.
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DNR commended the owners for recognizing the issue and taking the necessary steps to report it.
Zebra mussels, a species native to Eastern Europe that has spread to many U.S. waters, including the Tennessee River, pose a significant risk to Georgia.
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Authorities said that if the mussels establish here, they could spur major ecological and economic damage.
Zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species can cause millions of dollars in damage to boats and water intake pipes, while undermining native mussels and other aquatic species.
This discovery comes about a month after the DNR warned about the invasive species.
Officials said some Georgia pet stores may have the mussels attached to moss ball plants and other products. People are urged to not purchase this product from stores or online. If you have purchased this item in the last month, dispose of it properly and sanitize your tank.
Cox Media Group