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Letter - AIS in lakes needs education and management

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opinion Alexandria, 56308

Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

To the editor:

As the owner of a scuba diving business, I have worked with different agencies dealing with zebra mussels. With the knowledge that I have gained, I can tell you that there is a lot of false information out there, such as all of the fish will die in a lake. Research shows that many game fish populations stay the same or thrive. Much of this false information is put out by organizations that use scare tactics to get funding.

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The area lakes with zebra mussels have never had better water clarity and now have some of the best game fishing in years. Yet no one mentions the positive aspects of zebra mussels.

While scuba diving in Lake L'Homme Dieu, I have seen a decrease in zebra mussels over the last few years and a significant die-off this year. It is once again a beautiful, clear lake with great fishing. There has also been a major comeback of native snails and unfortunately the return of lake itch. Mother Nature is doing a great job of controlling the zebra mussels. This natural die-off is happening in many lakes.

Let's be clear. It is not a matter of if zebra mussels will get into a lake, but when. Even if you close all of the boat landings, they will still spread. The zebra mussel larvae is microscopic and can be spread by anything or anyone. More decontamination stations at the boat landings will not help. All it does is harass innocent boaters and tourists. There are more productive ways to use our money and resources.

Each lake handles zebra mussels differently. Some lakes will have natural die-offs and others might need some "in water" management. This needs to be about education and management, not about fear and harassment.

Jeff Bosek

Alexandria, MN

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