Paul Mavrakis, Regional Fisheries Supervisor with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Sheridan Regional Office, outlined for the Johnson County Commission their proposed rapid response plan for aquatic invasive species should they be discovered in Lake DeSmet.
Mavrakis explained the overall Game and Fish plan for the state is to keep invasive species from gaining a foothold in Wyoming waters.
According to the Game and Fish website, aquatic invasive species are plant or animal organisms that are not native and cause substantial harm to ecosystems, municipal water supplies, recreation, agriculture and other commercial activities when they are introduced into new areas.
Wyoming is one of just five states in the U.S. with no confirmed presence of the particularly damaging zebra and quagga mussels.
Every state surrounding Wyoming has detected these damaging mussels so inspections are vital to keep them out of Wyoming.
The draft plan will have a coordinated response should they be found in Lake DeSmet.
The Wyoming Game & Fish Department is seeking input from the commission and other shareholders, as they will be partners should the species be found in Lake DeSmet.
The draft plan will also be presented to the public for comment and input this winter before the plan is finalized.