Get Involved / AIS moss balls

HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF ZEBRA MUSSELS

 

Game and Fish announces moss ball take-back program winner Deborah C. Scollard of Casper is the winner of the moss ball take-back program, drawn randomly from 87 entries. 

 

Thank you to each person who returned or disposed of moss balls. You made a difference for Wyoming and our natural resources!

 
The moss ball tack-back program was supported by Wyoming Trout Unlimited, the WYldlife Fund, Wyoming Game Wardens Association, Wyoming County Commissioners Association, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Wyoming Wildlife Federation, Muley Fanatic Foundation and the Wyoming Water Association.

 

Why we're concerned about zebra mussels

An invasive zebra mussel that poses a serious threat to Wyoming’s natural resources and water systems has been found in moss balls, a product sold at many aquarium and pet supply stores. If you have a moss ball, we need your help to stop zebra mussels. All moss balls are impacted.

  • Never pour aquarium water or plants or release unwanted pets into any natural waters.

  • Dispose of any moss balls you have using the Game and Fish step-by-step guide.

  • Do not flush or pour water down drains if it's been in contact with moss balls.

  • Do not buy new moss balls to add to your tank.

Once zebra mussels become established in reservoirs, lakes or even city water systems, they wreak havoc. They remove nutrients from water, clog pipes and waterways, damage boats and out-compete native mussels. Further, in many cases, zebra mussels are impossible to remove and could have costly impacts for Wyoming.
 

Is the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) certifying that moss balls are zebra mussel free?

It has come to our attention that there are entities which claim to sell moss balls that have been lab-tested to be free of zebra mussels and that have been cleared by the USFWS as “free of any living zebra mussels.” 

While the USFWS has inspected individual shipments, it is inaccurate to imply that the USFWS has certified that moss balls are free from injurious and invasive zebra mussels. These statements are false and misleading. The USFWS has requested this information be removed from retail websites.
 

 

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO STOP THE SPREAD OF ZEBRA MUSSELS TO OUR WYOMING WATERS.

ID A ZEBRA MUSSEL


 MOSS BALLS DISPOSAL

WHAT'S A MOSS BALL?

  • Popular tank decoration made of a filamentous algae
  • Used to oxygenate the water. 
  • Zebra mussels were found on moss balls
  • Not all zebra mussels are visible to the eye.
  • At any size, they have the potential to cause harm. 

 

IF YOU HAVE A MOSS BALL

Please follow these steps to keep Wyoming’s waters free of zebra mussels.

 
  • Remove any pets from the water and tank.

  • Remove the moss ball, other plants and any water from the aquarium and put them into a heat-safe pot. Do not dispose of any water down the drain or toilet.

  • Inspect the moss ball and tank for zebra mussels and if you find any contact your local Game and Fish regional office.

  • Boil the moss balls, plants and any water it’s been in contact with at least five minutes

  • Dispose of the moss ball and other plants in trash. 

  • Pour out the boiled water on a semi-permeable surface. That could be a houseplant or outside — like grass or soil — that is not located near standing water or a storm drain.

SEE ZEBRA MUSSELS?
Tell us.


 
Please call to anonymously report:
  • Zebra mussels sightings in Wyoming's waters.
  • Anyone dumping their aquariums in natural waters. 

Call 1-877-WGFD-TIP to anonymously
report or submit a tip online.

Our goal is to learn where zebra mussels could be in Wyoming.

 

You can stop the spread of AIS

Moss balls aren't the only aquatic invasive species problem Wyoming faces. Find out more information about other challenges and what the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is doing to prevent invasive species. 

About Wyoming's efforts to prevent aquatic invasive species
Why you shouldn't let you pets loose

STAY UP TO DATE

WY INVASIVE RESPONSE TEAM

Formed by Gov. Gordon, the Wyoming Invasive Response Team is a multi-agency effort to stop the spread of and limit impacts from invasive zebra mussels in Wyoming.

The team is lead by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.

Members include: Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources, Wyoming Department of Transportation, Wyoming State Engineer’s Office, Wyoming Energy Authority, Wyoming Department of Tourism, Wyoming Water Development Commission and Wyoming Office of Homeland Security.

Interagency communications team:
 
 
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If you have questions about Wyoming's aquatic invasive species preventation program please email joshua.leonard@wyo.gov.
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