City lagoon plagued with muskrats

City lagoon plagued with muskrats
By: Mike Shain

PERRYVILLE, Mo. - Muskrats are a cause for concern in Perryville.
The town is under assault and the living quarters the furry creatures have chosen could cause a stinky mess.
The sign at Perryville's sewage treatment plant clearly says keep out, but the critters using the city's new lagoon obviously can't read.
"We've actually seen them swim around out here," said Ron Berkbuegler, the city's waterworks superintendent.
The critter crisis is caused by an invasion of muskrats.
Cousins to the beaver, the furry creatures like water. They like to dig as well.
They're burrowing into the levee holding nine million gallons of water. there's concern the muskrats, and there are several families, will dig right through the liner of the levee and lagoon.
"We'd have to drain it down, dig off the dirt off the top of it, get to the liner and fix it. Then put the dirt back in and then put the water back in," said Berkbuegler.
It sounds expensive and it would be. So, Perryville's board of aldermen is considering hiring a trapper to take on the rodents. But that could cost several thousand dollars a year.
"Just because we catch them all out doesn't mean they're going to leave," said Berbuegler. "They're going to keep coming back. So, we're probably going to have to have somebody come in and trap them periodically."
There could be another solution.

A wild game recipe for muskrat soup...it takes: one muskrat, rich milk, three hard boiled eggs, dry mustard, flour, salt and pepper.

There is such a recipe but Perryville's problem is no joke.
Should the levee fail, the waste water could pour into a nearby creek the state wants protected.