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By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Lake Onota Preservation Association (LOPA) is looking to construct a boat wash at Onota Lake to prevent the contamination of zebra mussels.

It will be submitting a co-sponsored application for Community Preservation Act funding in the fall after receiving the approval of the Parks Commission on Tuesday.

Douglas Spoehr of LOPA explained that the goal is to adopt best practices for boaters who have visited other lakes and have known risk factors for zebra mussels by providing them with an opportunity to wash down their boats with high-pressure steam.

The mussels are small freshwater species that have become invasive.

“There are no known predators for zebra mussels,” Parks, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said. “And where they have infested water bodies, they’re really about the size of your fingernail, they just sort of grow exponentially in a water body.”

He added that they also deplete the oxygen in a lake.

At a roughly estimated price tag… read the article in it’s entirety here.