Quagga and Zebra Mussels

Here in Nor Cal they are either banning boating in the local reservoirs, or requiring a visual inspection of all craft prior to launch, in order to limit the spread of subject mussels.

I have done some reading on these critters and the locally produced information is scary, indicating they reproduce without limit until they clog up everything, and eat all the algae, destroying the food chain. They were initially ‘imported’ into the great lakes, and have gradually spread until they now threated the local water supplies.

I never really heard of these things until recently, and I’ve read they have been in the USA for about 12 years now. I’m wondering if the local response is prudent, or if it is overkill. It certainly has eliminated my access to about 75% of the spots I used to enjoy.

It would seem this would be big news throughout the fresh-water boating community.

Transplanted problems

– Last Updated: May-26-08 10:32 AM EST –

Although there is far more emphasis on best hull designs and accesory equipment and other adult toys then the environment on this site, the transplanting of exotic and highly impacting things like the zebra mussel , mill-foil or rock snot deserves more discussion then it receives. I have witnessed the complete transformation of some local waters by non native items that were brought in by the boating world. For some of these waters, this complete transformation took place in just a matter of years.

My brother received his doctorate degree studying one of these invasive plants thirty years ago and to this day we are not one step closer on how to reverse these man made unwanted ecological changes. In fact it is probably fair to say that the scientific research on understanding their impact and what should be done to attempt to correct the situations has been put on the back-burner because of the political and economic forces of those who are partly responsible to how the problems started. That coupled with the sheer ignorance of many who now have been given easy access to many natural environments has further exaggerated the problem.

As much as I have positively learned about hulls, paddling techniques, boat lay-ups, destinations etc., I for one would like to learn how we need and will successfully implement strategies to become better stewards of the land/waters.

Already all over the place in NE
Came in thru bilge water from ships in the St Lawrence Saeway if I recall correctly.

No amount of prudence is too much for those things.

lake champlain
is full of em , ya look down in the water an where there is no sand they are all over the place , just like a carpet . These lil devils as well as phagmites are being looked at as natural water filters now …different twist . Invasive spiecies all over the planet -what do ya think we are and we’re also the ones doin the spreading . Snake head fish are another relatively new introduced salt water fish .Scary lookin lil devils .

Follow recomended guides an see what happens.

Spot on!
Unfortunately. State and Federal biologists are well aware of the problems with invasives, especially exotic invasives, but have few resources to deal with the problems. Invasives have been a problem for decades. In fact, my dad’s first job out of college in the 1930’s was working on Dutch Elm Disease and we haven’t made much progress. In NY we find a new exotic invasive about every 6 months, and there are several curring knocking on our door.


Cheers - NOT!,


another problem
and just as bad is Eurasian Milfoil—already took over the Rideau River waterway in Ontario and is now in some lakes in so Maine—if you paddle in a waterway known to have it, make sure you inspect and clean your boat before taking it to other places.

To ignore and not deal with environmental issues will far exceed the cost of dealing with them later.

Ignorance is not bliss. I was always amused at Reagan’s first order of business as president was to remove the solar panels put on the White House by Carter.

Yesterday was my son’s college graduation and while waiting in the handicap parking lot to assist some of my handicap relatives, the security policeman who grew up in a house next to the campus told me that the outdoor quad where the ceremony was being held was once the finest stand of Elm trees you would have ever seen. Till the Dutch Elm disease struck that is.

Plants’ name?

– Last Updated: May-26-08 10:54 AM EST –

I have been told about it, but don't remember its' name. I have heard that one pond in southern Maine has been pretty well choked out by it.

Lake Havasu AZ
has warning signs posted. The main problem is the larvae can live for 2 weeks on a dry hull and are hard to spot. We are getting ready to head for Nor Cal and the boats we are taking have been out of the water for over a month. I have also cleaned the boats with a mixture of white vinegar, water and wash & wax concentrate which I carry with me when we travel. I am not sure of how it affects the larvae but the boats are clean. I am wondering what would kill them that would be easy to apply and not dangerous to handle or affect the environment.

One only has to look at weed choked Clear Lake in Nor Cal to see the damage done by careless boaters.

Lake Davis was deliberately infested with northern pike by an “amateur biologist” and they have been trying to eradicate them for years now at great expense and great harm to the economy of Portola.

Yellowstone Lake was deliberately infested with lake trout by another “amateur biologist” and are eating the native cut throat trout. If you catch a laker on Yellowstone, you are required to kill it. Cut throats must be released.

Once there in
Been diveing Lake champlain over 30 years but since the zebra mussles covered the lake bottom it’s not the same.They cover everything, to the point that you can’t recognise things like old bottles or fishing anchors.Worst yet is they’ll cut the heck out of you if stepped on or tried to touch bare handed ;razor sharp.There’s no reversing it and that’s sad.

Lake Erie
the shore of lake erie at the ottawa national wildlife refuge the last time I was there (2002 or so) had heaps of zebra mussel shells about 10ft high. EVERYWHERE.

We’re fighting a losing battle with the species that are already here, unfortunately. We need to work harder on preventing new ones from taking hold.

Eurasian Milfoil

Interesting topic
I am not very well read on the subject. Speaking to Lake Erie and some inland lakes of PA such as Raystown, the infestation is attributed to bilgewater from vessels and boats coming from outside destinations.

The initial reports I read were condemning and projected complete demise of the sport fishing in the aforementioned lakes. Subsequent reports, however, indicated that the water clarity was remarkably improved (filtration aspect of the zebra mussels) and the food chain was not disturbed to the point of affecting the sport fishing.

I will attest to the water clarity changes at both lakes but would be interested in further reports regarding the initial predictions of detriment to the food chain.

Invasive species are always a concern but this particular example seems to have some divergent data and opinion.

Please offer additional info, very interested in the “layman” viewpoint as it often is more intuitive than the “expert” assertion.

Let’s hear from some charter captains and folks living on the lakes. I remember Lake Erie when pollution of all sorts threatened ALL species and inhabitants in vicinity.


There is another plant

– Last Updated: May-26-08 6:18 PM EST –

Similar to the Eurasion Milfoil and just as destructive that has popped up in a small pond in southern Maine that a boat landing inspector told me about last summer, but I don't remember the name of it. I wasn't sure if you were making reference to this new invasive plant that is now spreading a concern to this area as it apparently is even more dense in its' growth patterns then Milfoil

bad news

Rock Snot

– Last Updated: May-26-08 6:34 PM EST –

Rock Snot is another problem that has probably arrived in this country by fisherman's waders. It was recently discovered in prime trout fishing and boating waters in the very top of my state in the Connecticut River's starting watershed area. Guiding and catering to snowmobilers, hunters and fishermen is probably the core of their economy these days. The snowmobile side of that economy took a hit this last winter because of the new fuel prices and cost to get there. They have begun to understand this new problem and have publicly expressed their concerns with the arrival of Rock Snot.

Those who make a similar type of living over in the Androscoggin watershed are now concerned as well since the starting points of these two watersheds are quite near each other with many people that use them bouncing back and forth.