Army Corps to drop Pomme De Terre level to kill mussels

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(SPRINGFIELD, Mo., AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to lower the level of Pomme De Terre Lake by 3 feet and use a chemical on a small section of the lake to prevent an invasion of zebra mussels.

Corps officials say zebra mussels were found on a dock at the 7,820-acre lake north of Springfield after the dock was taken there from Lake of the Ozarks in December. Zebra mussels are dangerous because they clog power plant intakes, damage boats and disrupt lake food chains, The Springfield News-Leader reported (
“This is the first instance of zebra mussels here that we know about,” said Brad Myers, operations project manager at the lake. “And we want to keep it that way.”
Myers said the work has to be done before the lake warms up because zebra mussels begin reproducing when water temperatures reach 50 degrees and they can expel millions of larvae that can spread far into the lake.
The corps will start releasing 1,200 cubic feet of water per second as soon as the ice melts on the lake to expose the shoreline and kill the mussels. Myers said a copper sulfate will be used on about three-quarters of an acre of water near the infected dock, which should kill any zebra mussels still alive in the water.
Recent unseasonably warm weather could allow the corps to begin the water releases in the next few days.
It will take about 10 to 12 days to lower the lake level to elevation 836.0, which is 3 feet below the normal pool. The lake will be maintained at that level through the winter freeze.
“There’s a real good chance that once the treatment phase is complete, normal rainfall will fill the lake back up by spring,” Myers said.
Information from: Springfield News-Leader,