Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Program

The Nebraska Invasive Species Program (NISP) continues to administer a multi-institutional Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Program.

Goals

1. Decrease the risk of aquatic invasive species introduction into Nebraska;
2. Increase public awareness of AIS;
3. Monitor to help focus prevention efforts; and
4. Increase local and regional collaboration in the prevention of AIS.

Current Status

The NISP has conducted boater surveys and watercraft inspections each summer during 2012 - 2018 at high-risk waterbodies throughout Nebraska to gauge public awareness of AIS, study watercraft movements, and to educate the public on AIS prevention. In 2019 the NISP coordinator trained Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) aquatic invasive species technicians to continue this effort. The NISP provided NGPC with tablets to document watercraft inspections and items including brochures and towels to give to the public to increase clean, drain and dry behaviors. The NISP purchased a waterless watercraft cleaning station installed at Weigand Marina on Lewis & Clark Lake during May 2019. This unit allows the public to clean, drain and dry their watercrafts to prevent the spread of AIS including zebra mussels which are established in that reservoir. The CD3 unit includes a vacuum, air compressor, wrench to remove drain plugs, brush, grabber tool, and flood lights allowing users to use the unit at night. The NISP coordinator worked with the Nebraska Lake Association (which includes 39 lakes) to provide outreach materials to members and helped develop guidelines their members use for preventing the spread of AIS. NISP provided boat launch signs to NGPC and private lakes throughout the state to promote clean, drain and dry behaviors to prevent the spread of AIS. The NISP Coordinator served on regional AIS panels and the Asian carp technical committee.

There were no new infestations of zebra mussels in Nebraska in 2019. Glenn Cunningham Lake was drawn down to freeze and kill a newly established zebra mussel infestation during the winter of 2018. The length of the draw down is believed to be sufficient to eradicate the popluation but the lake will be monitored closely to determine the long-term success of the effort. NISP disseminated boat launch signs for posting at public waterbodies and at private lakes to educate the public on clean, drain and dry procedures.

Nebraska now has four waterbodies infested with zebra mussels which include: Lewis & Clark Lake, Lake Yankton, the entire length of the Missouri River and Offutt Air Force Base Lake (Bellevue, NE). The NISP coordinator consulted with Offutt Air Force Base regarding a planned water management project specifically identifying zebra mussel management items for the project. The NISP ran ads in the NGPC boating and fishing guides and the Voice News to promote cleaning, draining and drying watercrafts to prevent the spread of AIS. The NISP coordinator works with AIS coordinators in other states to coordinate AIS prevention efforts across state lines.

Project Website
AIS Prevention Program
CD3 unit at Weigland Marina, Crofton, NE. Photo: Allison Zach
CD3 unit at Weigland Marina, Crofton, NE. Photo: Allison Zach
Zebra Mussel locations in Nebraska. Illustration: Allison Zach
Zebra Mussel locations in Nebraska. Illustration: Allison Zach
Principal Investigator(s)
-Kevin L. Pope

Project Coordinator(s)
Allison Zach

Project Duration
April 2011 - December 2021

Funding
-USFWS Aquatic Nuisance Species Taskforce
-Nebraska Public Power District

Project Location
Statewide Nebraska
Cooperators