Weatherby Lake officials being proactive about zebra mussels - KCTV5

Weatherby Lake officials taking proactive approach to deal with zebra mussels

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WEATHERBY LAKE, MO (KCTV) -

You can't get near Weatherby Lake without seeing a sign warning members of the danger of zebra mussels - it's all part of a proactive approach to deal with them.

Hank Nussbeck has been living at and fishing Weatherby Lake for 10 years.

"They were biting pretty good. The crappie are starting to spawn, moving toward the bank," Nussbeck said.

But this year he won't be fishing anywhere else.

"I'm dedicating all my equipment, boat and everything just to this lake," he said.

The Weatherby Lake Improvement Company is requiring all users to certify as part of the yearly lake permit that they won't take any equipment to any other lake - because they might bring zebra mussels back too.

"We want to make sure we're doing everything we can before we get them. We don't want to be here and have mussels and realize there was more we could have done," said Rick Neece, the president of the company.

Neece wants to keep the lake zebra mussel-free. Once they move in, they start killing the lake's natural ecosystem, reducing the fish population and sticking to boats and motors.

"Property values are impacted, quality of life is impacted and you just get one shot at it," he said. "Short of draining the lake and starting over, there's not much you can do."

Nussbeck said the entire community has to work together to stop an infestation because one boat, life jacket or fishing pole could contaminate the entire lake.

"You have to trust everybody and hopefully we can do that," he said.

Click here for more on the Weatherby Lake Improvement Company.

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