UPDATE: Test of bacteria to kill zebra mussels dropped

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 --- 5:26 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Because of local opposition, state officials have dropped a plan to add bacteria to a northern Wisconsin lake to kill zebra mussels.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says it'll look for another suitable lake instead.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the DNR and U.S. Geological Survey decided to withdraw their application to use the bacteria on Keyes Lake in Florence County after the state agriculture department received about 15 letters opposing the experiment, including letters from county officials who expressed safety concerns.

The agencies had wanted to use a bacteria known by the trade name Zequanox, which they said would kill invasive zebra mussels but not native mussels.

Zebra mussels have been found in 163 lakes and rivers since they turned up in inland Wisconsin lakes in 1994.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State agricultural officials are reviewing a request from the U.S. Geological Survey to experiment with a bacteria to kill zebra mussels in a northern Wisconsin lake.

Researchers want to apply the biological pesticide in Keyes Lake in Florence County next month.

Geological survey researcher James Luoma, in La Crosse, says Keyes Lake was chosen because zebra mussels were found there in 2010 and because it also has a healthy population of native mussels. The Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1s6w59X ) reports it would be the first test of the pesticide in public waters in Wisconsin.

The disruptive zebra mussels were initially discovered in the Great Lakes in the mid-1980s and turned up in inland Wisconsin lakes in 1994. The invasive mussels crowd out native species and clog water intake pipes.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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