SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (KTIV/KUOO) -
In the summer, the Iowa Great Lakes are filled with boaters. That all changes when temps begin to fall. But, it does give conservation officials the chance to look for things that threaten the health of the waters.
In addition to falling leaves and football, another fall ritual is taking place in the Iowa Great Lakes: The removal of docks and boat hoists.
When it comes to that, Mike Hawkins, a fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is reminding everyone to look over those items once they've been removed from the water for any signs of zebra mussels.
"These mussels will be very small, only an eighth to a quarter of an inch in size, and it actually makes sense to look at the hoist and dock after it's had a chance to dry in the air. These little shells become a lot more visible once the surface is dried," said Hawkins.