Zebra Mussels

Do you know why zebra mussels are a menace to lakes today? Invasive species are any species that have been introduced to an environment where it is not native, and that has since become a nuisance through rapid spread and increase in numbers, often to the detriment of native species. There are many invasive species but one of the most annoying of them all would have to be the Zebra mussel. Zebra mussels are sessile bivalve mollusk. They are usually a brownish-Yellowish color. They usually attach to hard surfaces like rocks or the bottom of boats and that’s how they can get from place to place.

Zebra mussels have been found inside of these states boundaries Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Today the zebra mussels still invade on many lakes and some of the biggest of those lakes in the United States would be The Great Lakes. Zebra mussels came from the St. Lawrence River and traveled underneath the boats and then they go down to the lakes bottom.

Many States including Washington have been starting to crack down on these invaders! They have been starting to make sure that when boats come back out of the docks that they check the bottom of their boats and make sure that there are no zebra mussels there. Then they cannot spread to other lakes that those boats will go on. Zebra muscles have infested the great lakes and they have affected them a lot. They invade the bottom of the lakes and when tourists or residents go to swim they step on these hard shells and possibly could slice there shell open.

The United States are trying to stop these small creatures from destroying more and more lakes. People are now tracing the new sightings if the zebra muscles each year to predict where they are and to stop them from invading. First they will record all of the sightings and then they will mark each one on a map and then they draw a line to each of the sightings. When finished the marked area will show all of the data. Then they compare it to recent mapping labs and they predict where they will be next month and try and stop them from invading other lakes.

Zebra muscles have cost the united states a lot of money from 1996 to 1991 as the cost of fighting of all of these invasive species including the zebra mussels as the to invader to be 96 billion dollars. I think that these zebra muscles need to go because if I had a cabin on a lake I would hate for it to be destroyed and invaded by zebra muscles.

Where do zebra muscles plan on going in the next few years?

Will zebra muscles ever be under control?

Why are zebra muscles so invasive and what other invasive species are there?

Video: zebra mussels

6 thoughts on “Zebra Mussels

  1. I go to Minnesota a lot, so the next time I go there with my family, I will definitely start looking for some zebra mussles on our boat. I will make sure to not let them spread to other places. According to Minnesota DNR site, zebra mussles are more of a costly problem than anything. Zebra mussels can also attach themselves to the bottom of boats and cause the boats to not work as efficiently as they could. Zebra mussles can also clog pipes near houses, cutting off water supply. They may also cause an injury if people step on them while climbing a ladder, going swimming, or swimming rafts.

    Source: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/aquaticanimals/zebramussel/index.html

  2. Agreed! Zebra mussels are an can be a very big problem. The lake that I go to in Minnesota has zebra mussels. In order to prevent people from spreading them further or to different lakes they have a wash bed for the boats and people who check the boats before going in. In this article they tried a method of attempting to try kill off the species in hopes of a better places for the fish and so swimmers feet don’t get cut.


  3. I know of many lakes that zebra mussels have invaded, and I agree that they are very annoying.http://globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/workspace/Sect005/s5g7/methods%20of%20control.htm according to this article, “One of the most popular and effective ways to kill zebra mussels is using chlorine treatments. However, if the chlorine is not applied very carefully and selectively, it can be released into the surrounding environment and can kill surrounding wildlife.” This method is also very dangerous to the surrounding ecosystem and wild life.

  4. I thought your post was really intriguing. I had no idea that they were a huge problem and I didn’t really know what they were. I bet that would hurt to step on one. In an another article I read it said they feed off of microscopic organisms in the lakes and that creates loss of food for some of the creatures in the area. Your post was very good throughout and I really liked it. Here’s a like to the website if your interested: http://www.protectyourwaters.net/hitchhikers/mollusks_zebra_mussel.php

  5. I found this article very interesting. Zebra Mussels are something that I do know a little bit about. Depending on how old the zebra mussels are, they can grow in size. Usually the biggest they get is 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches long. Most adults also have a D-shaped shell with alternating yellow and brownish stripes. According to http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/aquaticanimals/zebramussel/index.html most females can produce anywhere from 100,000-500,000 eggs per year. These eggs can develop into microscopic, free-living larvae that begin to form shells. After 2-3 weeks, the microscopic veligers start to settle and attach to any firm surface.

    Some people are already trying to get zebra mussels under control. They are checking boats when they come to new lakes to see if any zebra mussels are attached. If everyone pitched in to help solve this problem, zebra mussels could stop spreading very quickly.

  6. I found this article very interesting, I found it interesting because I used to live in Minnesota and we have a lot of lakes there, and I remember that no one ever wanted zebra mussels in their lake because it brings down house or property value, and they are just bad for the lake in general. At the Minnesota DNR, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/aquaticanimals/zebramussel/index.html
    I found that they a female zebra muscle can produce up to 100,000-500,000 eggs each! They are a large problem because they cause problems to the lake shore and the home owners that own the house on the lake shore. I think that this is a very large problem and that people should pay more attention to the boats that they are putting in their lakes.

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