Boat Dealers in Nebraska Warn About Infestation by Invasive Shellfish

In a nutshell, utility services in Nebraska are telling boat owners to keep their vessels clean and working. Otherwise, blackouts and water shortages won’t be far away.

Nebraska Power

While it sounds odd on paper, the threat posed by invasive species in the water is all too real. They can easily cling onto boats, especially in hidden places, and invade a new body of water should the owner go boating elsewhere. With the state reliant on hydroelectric power, the gist of the advisory couldn’t be any clearer.

“Nebraska Public Power District and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are asking water recreationalists to be aware of invasive species like zebra mussels and Asiatic clams. The species can attach themselves to boat motors, bait buckets and other equipment and make their way from one body of water to another.”

Maritime Parasitism

The relationship between the boat and invasive species are like that of a human and parasite. Referred to as parasitism, these species make their way deep into the boat engine. As a result, the invaders are carried wherever the boat goes but at the expense of the engine’s integrity in the long term.

The Nebraska Invasive Species Program has identified 16 aquatic invasive species, two of which are common in boating: zebra mussels and Asian clams. They cling to the boat motor as well as to pipes, limiting the flow of water to water treatment and power plants. Sightings were confirmed in Offutt Base Lake and the Missouri River, among others.

Hit the Road, Hitchhikers

Washing your boat before and after boating is the best way to prevent these invasive species from threatening other bodies of water. Hot water and bleach form a great one-two punch.

If the pests have already taken their toll on the engine, bring it to the attention of certified boat dealers in Nebraska like White’s Marine Center. They have a service center that can, depending on the extent of the damage, restore the engine to working condition. Even better, choose one that has a certified or master technician on call.

Given the fact that these hitchhikers can render the engine useless, it’s important to take note of this fact when in the market for Nebraska boats for sale. Thorough inspections can be performed by a certified marine surveyor. You can ask for a surveyor’s help by visiting the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors or the National Association of Marine Surveyors online.

(Source: “Nebraska power utility urges boaters to beware,” Associated Press [c/o Fremont Tribune], May 24, 2014)

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