Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Zebra Mussels Found at Isle Royale

zebra mussels
zebra mussels (photo by Ron Dermott from the US FWS)
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a news release of Duluth News Tribune

Michigan's crown jewel in Lake Superior, Isle Royale, had escaped the invasion of the alien zebra mussels, until recently. Park officials confirmed the find and are very concerned since the island still has one of the largest populations of native mussels in the Great Lakes.

Superintendent Phyllis Green said that with so many boats coming to the island, they will probably never know how the invaders arrived. She is calling for an all-out effort to attempt to wipe out the colony. It is believed that they are all zebra mussels, and not the larger Quagga mussel, and are almost all located at the west end of the island in Washington Harbor.

The first zebra mussels in Lake Superior appeared in Duluth 20 years ago. They are moved around primarily by being attached to boats. So far 24 mussels have been removed from Isle Royale docks, and water tests are being done to check for larvae (called veligers). Poison could be used to kill the larvae.

An expert from Minnesota Sea Grant pointed out that very few efforts at eliminating zebra mussel concentrations in lakes have succeeded. But he is hopeful that this problem may have been caught early enough.

See Biological Pesticide Found for Zebra Mussels
See 330 Trillion Quagga Mussels Can't Be Right
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Ratty said...

I remember when these things were being talked about as a big problem in the Detroit River. They were clogging up everything and stinking up the water. I think I remember them saying that the problem is under control there now, but I'm not sure at all.

Sharkbytes said...

I sure hope so... but I'm not sure anyone really has them under control... it's more like coming to terms with them.

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