We recently received a letter from Christy Graham, Trout Management Program Supervisor for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, that explained that zebra mussels have been found not only in Bull Shoals Lake, but also in the White River below Bull Shoals Dam. The mussels have been found at least 8 mile below the dam, which would include the White Hole area. In her letter, she states that “the district biologists have not documented any negative effects on the fish populations and we do not expect to see a negative effect on the trout populations either.” However, this is an invasive species and has been known to be carried from one body of water to another as they attach themselves to any hard surface including boats, trailers, motors, waders, or other fishing equipment. They are recommending the following tips to prevent the spread of both the adult and larval zebra mussels:
Clean boats, trailers and other equipment thoroughly between fishing trips with 1) hot soapy water; 2) a high pressure washer; or 3) or a light bleach solution (1 cup bleach to 10 gallons water);
Let boats, trailers and other equipment fully dry for 4 to 6 hours, preferably in the sun; be sure to remove all vegetation attached to your boat or trailer;
Never move water, fish, or fish parts from one body of water to another;
Tell other anglers and boaters about prevention and spread of invasive species.
Ms. Graham added: ‘I would also add that knowingly transporting this species is illegal, and transporting them across state lines (such as to Lake Taneycomo) would be a federal violation. So please, be super careful that you have "cleaned, drained, and dried" your equipment before traveling to and from other locations.’