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Fighting Zebra Mussels


Dylan33

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I'm sure this has been referenced here before, but I came across this today and thought I'd share. The state of Virginia was able to eradicate zeebs in a small lake a few years back. Why wouldn't that works here? Why not make this more widespread?

I'm not fisheries or environmental expert, so I guess I'm wondering what some of you people smarter than me think?

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/zebramussels/

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I am not sure but I think that treatment would kill all of the mussels and clams in the water body.

Not a biologist tho.

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Sounds good to me - other than trying to do 100,000+ acres of lake Mille Lacs. I'm guessing the Millbrook quarry is not too big.

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Well I'm not an expert at toxicology or anything, but a few things come to mind:

They weren't worrying about native mussels or crustaceans, one would think a potassium concentration high enough to kill zebra mussels would also kill native ones. In non-quarry situations, when there is a much more complex ecosystem, there is going to be a lot of collateral damage. And one would think that 100% effectiveness is not feasible in a large body of water, which means that it'd be prone to another breakout of zebra mussels

We're also talking about a 12-acre body of water, and it cost them 350K to do it. Extrapolating those numbers out and you're talking about 30 million dollars to apply the same thing to Prior Lake, for example.

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michigan state has some cool research programs that seem to be gaining momentum for fighting zebes too, but I don't know much about it. Gull Lake near battle creek has a neat research station.

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Spend the 30 million. Will probably save us money in the grand scheme considering the futile efforts and expenses we're throwing at it today.

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Just convince people that they're a delicacy.

That's what they did several years ago with the Patagonian toothfish in the South Atlantic. It was essentially an ugly, by-catch fish that no one wanted and which couldn't compete with the salmon and swordfish in the commercial market.

They renamed them "Chilean Sea Bass" and fancy restaurants in NY and LA couldn't get enough - to the point where the population was threataned and the fishing of them has to now be highly-regulated.

Zebra-mussel soup, maybe? smile

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Spend the 30 million. Will probably save us money in the grand scheme considering the futile efforts and expenses we're throwing at it today.

Gonna do that for every infested lake? Every ten years or so? Where are we going to come up with half a billion dollars?

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Gonna do that for every infested lake? Every ten years or so? Where are we going to come up with half a billion dollars?

Exactly!

We object to Half Billion eradication method because it would come in the form of 1 big bill every ?10 years.

I think eventually we will ramp up to a half billion a year in enforcement and silly preventative measures also...The number of bills are in the thousands, just the individual quanties are less...and nothing is stopped. So they may appear to be cheap preventative methods, but their total cost is likely the same as an actual eradication method.

MilfOil in Minnetonka 1987...Trying to prevent the spread in 2012 crazy

How much money do you think we've spend thus far?

BTW...I totally agree with you, my comment was completely tongue in cheek. I would not support use of chemicals to erradicate the invasive species...There is no way it would do less harm than the zebra mussels themselves.

When did the first zebra mussel arrive in MN?

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We just need to accept and love our new lake friends. Then life can be simple again. CO's can go about their days checking licenses, limits, and educating the younger generations. Instead of starting a war with the cute little sea shells.

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We just need to accept and love our new lake friends. Then life can be simple again. CO's can go about their days checking licenses, limits, and educating the younger generations. Instead of starting a war with the cute little sea shells.

agreed.

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There was a blue green algae that was dead and sterile that has been found to kill zebras. The algae had been tested with other "natural" algaes and it didnt seem to adversely affect them, but had a devastating affect on the zebra mussels. I do not recall what impact if any it had on native mussels though.

The key thing is every time they try to introduce another non-native to kill a non-native it isnt good.

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There's promising zebra mussel control research in progress involving a type of soil bacteria called Pseudomonas fluorescens. In trials it has killed greater than 90% of zebra mussels. It has also been tested on a number of other species without causing any significant death.

This describes a current study on this bacteria (Minnesota DNR looks to be playing role, which is encouraging) : http://cida.usgs.gov/glri/projects/invasive_species/zm_control.html

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There's promising zebra mussel control research in progress involving a type of soil bacteria called Pseudomonas fluorescens. In trials it has killed greater than 90% of zebra mussels. It has also been tested on a number of other species without causing any significant death.

This describes a current study on this bacteria (Minnesota DNR looks to be playing role, which is encouraging) : http://cida.usgs.gov/glri/projects/invasive_species/zm_control.html

By other species do you mean native mussels?
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I stayed on lake Carlos the last couple days and the DNR is doing a huge study on the Zebra mussels there right now. They had a large trailer set up with tanks inside and they are pumping things from the lake. I never did make it over to discuss further with them.

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I stayed on lake Carlos the last couple days and the DNR is doing a huge study on the Zebra mussels there right now. They had a large trailer set up with tanks inside and they are pumping things from the lake. I never did make it over to discuss further with them.

I just read an article on this exact thing. It's some type of "food" that they put in the water and the zebe's eat them and die. Hopefully a slow agonizing death. wink

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Hi all,

I'm new to this forum. I read this thread with interest. I talked to a little DNR girl at Gull about these things, but she didn't really know much. Maybe someone here knows. I'm trying to find out if Zebras have done any damage or caused any harm so far in Minnesota to our fisheries. I know they cleaned up Lake Erie and restored it as a world class Walleye and Smallmouth lake, but I'm still trying to find out what bad effect they've had on Minnesota fishing.

Thanks and enjoy the weekend.

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Hi all,

I'm new to this forum. I read this thread with interest. I talked to a little DNR girl at Gull about these things, but she didn't really know much. Maybe someone here knows. I'm trying to find out if Zebras have done any damage or caused any harm so far in Minnesota to our fisheries. I know they cleaned up Lake Erie and restored it as a world class Walleye and Smallmouth lake, but I'm still trying to find out what bad effect they've had on Minnesota fishing.

Thanks and enjoy the weekend.

LOL.

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I think lake Erie was a world class walleye lake before the Zebra Mussels.

Mille Lacs seems to be doing ok with them in it.

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I think lake Erie was a world class walleye lake before the Zebra Mussels.

Mille Lacs seems to be doing ok with them in it.

Actually, in 1969 Lake Erie was almost completely dead. Time magazine noted that blue pike(walleyes), northern pike and sturgeon among other species were almost nonexistent in the lake. Environmental regulation and the zebra mussel are both given credit for cleaning it up.

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Hi all,

I'm new to this forum. I read this thread with interest. I talked to a little DNR girl at Gull about these things, but she didn't really know much. Maybe someone here knows. I'm trying to find out if Zebras have done any damage or caused any harm so far in Minnesota to our fisheries. I know they cleaned up Lake Erie and restored it as a world class Walleye and Smallmouth lake, but I'm still trying to find out what bad effect they've had on Minnesota fishing.

Thanks and enjoy the weekend.

I am not sure of the damage to fishing but I spoke with a service manager over on Lake Minnetonka and he said he is seeing bigger boats coming in for service because intakes are clogged up. The engines aren't getting the proper cooling they need and overheating.

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Actually, in 1969 Lake Erie was almost completely dead. Time magazine noted that blue pike(walleyes), northern pike and sturgeon among other species were almost nonexistent in the lake. Environmental regulation and the zebra mussel are both given credit for cleaning it up.

The zeeb didn't show up until after 1988. Walleye fishing was booming at the time, (remember the Erie Dearie weight forward spinner?) Zeebs changed the fishing but it isn't obvious that they hurt it much.

Here is a blurb from Michigan DNR

Recovery of Lake Erie Walleye a Success Story-6/8/2006

June 8, 2006

Lake Erie is often the most maligned of the Great Lakes. Pollution problems have plagued the lake, which hosts several industrial centers on its shores. And the walleye fishery on the lake has gone bust and boom as well.

Walleye fishing on Lake Erie was booming in the late 1980s, but then began a bust period in the 1990s that extended into the early part of this decade. This prompted fishery managers from Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario to respond to the alarming decline in the abundance of walleye. The agencies ordered a reduced harvest in 2004 by over 30 percent in each jurisdiction.

Michigan is only responsible for 112 square miles of the 9,903 square miles of Lake Erie, but it is the western basin that Michigan is a part of that is considered the hot spot for walleye, along with the central basin.

Lake Erie and her fisheries have a long history of boom and bust. Industrialization of Lake Erie's shoreline in the early 20th century was clearly contaminating the waters. However, the declining environmental conditions didn't dissuade a growing commercial fishery for walleye into the 1950s. But by 1956, the increasing threat of over harvest and habitat destruction had reached its peak and in the early 1960s the bottom fell out of the commercial fishery. By 1970, fishery closures were common due to mercury contamination in walleye. The lake was considered dead by many who had relied on its abundance for years.

Several key events, though, were about to combine to help the lake recover. In 1975, the Lake Erie Committee (LEC), a bi-national committee of senior fisheries managers from each bordering state and Ontario, started working together to manage the lake's fisheries. Also, in the early 1970s, growing public awareness and concern in the United States for controlling water pollution would lead to the Clean Water Act of 1977. The Clean Water Act established basic structure for regulating the discharge of pollutants into the waters of the US, including the Great Lakes.

By the mid- to late-1970s, there were reports of not only cleaner water, but healthier fish. As the walleye population grew, so did the angler activity. By 1988, the sport catch was approaching the historical highs observed in the days of peak commercial fishing. Control of the fishing effort and harvest rates through the LEC wasn't working for a variety of social and political factors. Increased fishing efforts, sporadic hatching success, dwindling spawning stocks and newly discovered environmental and biological threats began to take their toll on the walleye population.

A walleye population that once was boasted at 70 million fish in the late 1980s was estimated to be only 16 million by 2000. In other words, where there used to be 7,000 fish per square mile, there were only 1,700.

As the final blow, in 2002, a complete year-class failure occurred during the hatching process. The failure ignited a debate between the bordering states and Ontario about whether or not harvest reductions were needed. Harvest reductions were agreed upon in 2003. In Michigan, the daily bag limit for walleye on Lake Erie was reduced from six to five fish, and the minimum size limit was increased from 13 inches to 15 inches. Also, the season was closed in April and May.

The 2003 year-class of walleye in Lake Erie hatched like gangbusters, mostly due to favorable weather conditions. Fishery managers called it the strongest hatch in 20 years. Survival of the new fish also was high due to the fact that there was a reduced population in the lake.

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delcecchi, you are right. I stand corrected. It looks like they helped smallmouth. They did improve water clarity but whether that's a good thing or not I don't know.

I still wonder if they're having any negative impact on fishing. I heard a guy who pumps water out of a lake complain that they clog his intake but I don't lose much sleep over that.

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