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  • Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    EEK! It's A Quagga.


    WESTERN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS THREATENED
    Hitchhiker Leaps Tall Buildings And Vast Distances
    zebra's cousin now in lake mead

    .. From the STOP HITCHHIKERS program at Protect Your Waters comes news that no longer is the Quagga Mussel just a Great Lakes problem. The invasive species is now in Lake Mead, and threatens all of the waters in the Western United States. California is the most probable place that the invader will propagate.
    .. As of just 4 weeks ago the USGS has information of documented populations in four locations on the Lower Colorado River: Lake Mead, Lake Havasu (2), & Lake Mohave.
    .. Southern Utah's Spectrum carries a story about the surprise of local officials and their responses to the invader.

    Laura Melling, park manger of Sand Hollow and Gunlock reservoirs heard that the mussels had been found at Lake Mead on January 6 her first reaction was that it was scary.

    Part of Melling's feelings of dread was that locally, not much had been done to prepare when the mussels were finally found outside the Great Lakes area where they were discovered in 1989.

    .. The Contra Costa Times also carries a story about the mussel, and the fear of infestation in the California Delta.

    State water and wildlife managers fear the quagga, a fingernail-sized Eastern European import with no commercial application, would suck up algae and small creatures that fish and other aquatic life need to survive.

    "This is the last thing the upper Delta needs," said Tina Swanson, a scientist at the Bay Institute in Novato. "The quagga would add to the problems of a struggling Delta system."


    .. Like their cousin the Zebra Mussel, the Quagga is dioecious (either male or female) with external fertilization. A fully mature female mussel is capable of producing up to one million eggs per season. The prolific nature of the beast is one of the concerns of fishermen and wildlife officials.
    .. The mussels also compete with small and/or young fish for food, and can introduce toxins into the food chain. One of the concerns is their ability to transmit Clostridium botulinum.
    ____________________
    .. Good Information:
    --- Wikipedia
    --- USGS, Quagga & Zebra
    --- EEK
    --- AIS, Pennsylvania
    --- Anthony Ricciardi
    --- Absolute Michigan