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WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 01, 2013, 08:29 PM

Fishermen have a huge chance of spreading zebra mussels

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- Pelican Lake is swimming with invasive species. And for years, people in the area have been trying to keep the mussels from transferring to other lakes.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- Pelican Lake is swimming with invasive species. And for years, people in the area have been trying to keep the mussels from transferring to other lakes.

But the F-M Walleye fishing tournament kicked off this weekend, despite the risk.

There's over one hundred anglers here. 65 teams on Pelican Lake and that means there are a lot of chances for these boaters to spread zebra mussels. But they say it's all about responsibility.

Greg Schonauer-Angler:"They don't wanna bite like they did yesterday"

It's day two tournament on Pelican Lake. But the fish isn't the only thing being caught.

Schonauer:"They reproduce so fast."

Beyond the crystal clear waves, millions of mussels are just waiting to hitch a ride.

Schonauer:"Oh yeah, we've seen em."

A number of property owners are worried that the hundred-plus fisherman would pose a risk to other nearby lakes. The F-M Walleye Director says that's not the case.

Barry Chouinard-FM Walleye: "We've implemented rules for our anglers for many years on being cleaned, drained and dry."

Tonight the tournament wrapped up it's 29th year. Their 3rd season using decontamination stations like this one.

Schonauer:"They're very conscious about transferring. Ya know, invasive species to different lakes."

Each and every boat, inspected, documented and washed. The DNR uses 150 degree water to spray the species away.

Schonauer: "And if you've been in the lake like this for a few days like we have, you should really not go to another lake for a few days until your boat dries off good."

The F-M Walleye tournament on Pelican Lakes was actually the first tournament in Minnesota to implement the decontamination stations two years ago.

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