- Associated Press - Thursday, June 23, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota wildlife officials will be conducting compliance checks along the Missouri River this weekend to ensure that boaters and anglers are following regulations aimed at slowing the spread of invasive species in waterways.

The state Game, Fish and Parks Department says all drain plugs, valves or similar devices must be opened or removed from boats when being transported. Boat owners found violating the rules will be subject to a misdemeanor and an $85 fine.

Statewide regulations changed last year after officials found zebra mussels in the Lewis and Clark Reservoir. Earlier this month, the department announced that the invasive mollusk had also been discovered in McCook Lake.

The department’s Dale Gates says rule compliance is a “key factor” for the future of the state’s fisheries and water recreational resources.

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