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  1. #1
    Hellwoman Moderator
    Shawn Alladio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Mind Sweep

    California Reminds Boaters: Don't move a mussel

    California Reminds Boaters & Water Users: Don’t Move A Mussel
    New Invasive Mussel Guidebook Available Online

    Alexia Retallack, 916-322-8944
    Jordan Traverso, 916-654-9937

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A state multi-agency taskforce today unveiled a guidebook to help water managers and recreationalists take part in the fight against invasive Quagga and Zebra mussels. The “Invasive Mussel Guidebook” outlines how aquatic mollusks can devastate waterways and why local governments and water users should encourage all Californians not to move a mussel.

    The taskforce - composed of California’s Department of Fish and Game, Department of Water Resources, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Boating and Waterways and Department of Food and Agriculture - is working to advance understanding about these mussels and their potential ecological and economic impacts. However, it is local officials and residents who must take critical steps to address this important issue.

    Quagga and Zebra mussels were first detected in the Great Lakes in the late 1980s, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to water delivery systems. They were first detected in the Colorado River system in January 2007 and were later found in San Diego and Riverside counties by state and local water agencies. Zebra mussels were discovered in San Justo Reservoir in San Benito County in January 2008.

    The “Invasive Mussel Guidebook” provides strategies for local involvement in the Quagga and Zebra mussel response. Although the mussels are not established in all California lakes and reservoirs, most areas of the state are vulnerable to future transport and contamination by the species. Because the mussels are primarily transported by watercraft, water managers are urged to develop policies to ensure that the invasive mollusks are not moved via boats or ballast water.

    Both species of mussel are non-native aquatic mollusks that wreak havoc on the environment by disrupting the natural food chain and releasing toxins that affect other aquatic species. Although they range in size from microscopic to the size of a fingernail, they are prolific and attach themselves to hard and soft surfaces.

    In addition to devastating the natural environment, Quagga and Zebra mussels pose a dramatic economic threat to California. The mussels can colonize on hulls, engines and steering components of boats, other recreational equipment, and can damage boat motors and restrict cooling. The invasive species also attach to aquatic plants, and submerged sediment and surfaces such as piers, pilings, water intakes, and fish screens. In doing this, water intake structures can be clogged, hampering the flow of water. The mussels frequently settle in massive colonies that can block water intake and threaten municipal water supply, agricultural irrigation and power plant operations.

    Zebra mussels inhabit water depths from four to 180 feet, while Quagga can reach depths more than 400 feet. Both mollusks can attach to and damage boat trailers, cooling systems, boat hulls and steering equipment. Mussels attached to watercraft or trailers can be transported and spread to other water bodies. Water in boat engines, bilges, live wells and buckets can carry mussel larvae (called veligers) to other water bodies as well.

    To help prevent the spread of the mussels, boaters should inspect all exposed surfaces, wash boat hulls thoroughly, remove all plants from boat and trailer, drain all water, including lower outboard units, clean and dry livewells and bait buckets and dispose baitfish in the trash.

    Most importantly, watercraft should be dried for at least five days between launches in different fresh bodies of water. These steps are designed to thwart spread of the invasive mussels, safeguard boats and preserve high-quality fisheries.

    The taskforce is currently working to determine the extent of the Quagga and Zebra mussel threat and to educate watercraft users and water managers about what they can do to help. As part of the public education effort, the state has facilitated nearly a dozen Quagga/Zebra inspection and decontamination trainings for more than 300 individuals in San Diego, Redding, Fresno, Stockton, Monterey, Los Alamitos, Onatrio, Lake County, Sacramento and Yountville.

    To date, the taskforce has distributed more than 1.75 million information cards and 1.2 million letters to registered boaters and other water users around the state about the Quagga and Zebra mussel threat. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has inspected nearly 180,000 watercraft at its 16 Border Protection Stations since 2007. Inspections continue daily.

    To access the “Invasive Mussel Guidebook” in its entirety, please visit www.resources.ca.gov/quagga.

    A public toll-free hotline - 1-866-440-9530 - has also been established for information about destructive Quagga and Zebra mussels. The toll-free number is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    For more information about the Quagga/Zebra mussel response, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/quaggamussel.

  2. #2
    Hellwoman Moderator
    Shawn Alladio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Mind Sweep

    Re: California Reminds Boaters: Don't move a mussel

    PIPE CLOGGING MUSSELS arrive in Valley Water

    The discovery of quagga mussels in a water-diversion channel east of Mesa raises the risk that the invasive mollusk could use the Valley's network of canals to spread farther into Arizona and possibly damage water-treatment plants.

    The canals supply water for most Valley communities, at least two power plants, more than a dozen urban lakes and thousands of customers of farm and residential irrigation.

    Salt River Project workers found 11 quagga mussels earlier this month and four more Wednesday on monitoring lines near Granite Reef Dam, where water is diverted into the canals.

    Just one female quagga can produce 40,000 eggs in a breeding cycle and up to 1 million eggs in a year.

    The thumbnail-size mussels pose no health risk to drinking water, but they can clog pipes, jam mechanical equipment, increase maintenance costs on water-distribution systems and alter riparian ecosystems.

    How many mussels have made their way into the diversion channel or downstream is unknown, but finding even a few on a monitoring block is significant. The four found Wednesday had attached themselves since the block was last checked about two weeks ago.

    "It means they are able to settle in our canals," said Lesly Swanson, an environmental scientist for SRP. "We knew they had been coming in from the (Central Arizona Project Canal) for a while. It's really a question of why we haven't found them sooner."

    Quaggas have colonized the lower Colorado River since they were discovered in the river in January 2007. Especially hard hit is Lake Havasu, the source of water for the CAP Canal, which moves water to Phoenix and Tucson.

    Once mussels showed up in the canal, SRP officials knew it was only a matter of time before they moved into the urban channels.

    SRP will take a closer look at canal walls in the coming months during annual maintenance, when lengths of the waterways are drained for several weeks.

    The utility plans to meet with its municipal customers to discuss how they can protect the treatment plants. The biggest fear is that mussels could attach themselves to intake pipes and block the flow of water into a treatment plant. That would increase maintenance costs at a time when municipal budgets are strained.

    "We hope we never get to that point," said Brian Moorhead, an SRP environmental scientist who focuses on the urban canals. "If we do, we start to lose capacity all over the system."

    On the lookout

    Moorhead checks a series of monitoring lines in canals every two weeks. He uses concrete blocks and plastic plates attached to ropes or chains.

    On Wednesday, he pulled a line up in the diversion channel at Granite Reef.

    "We've got one here," he said, carefully wiping away sediment to expose a single mussel. A moment later, "here's another one."

    Once quaggas establish themselves, counting them is nearly impossible. At Parker and Davis dams on the lower Colorado, workers have scraped away 3- or 4-inch layers of mussels on an iron gate as tall as a man.

    Most communities say they are aware of the threat and have begun taking steps on their own, though few have begun to calculate the added costs if mussels fill pipes.

    "We have equipment in place that would prevent the mussels from entering the (treatment) plants," said Mike Phillips, Scottsdale spokesman. "We're working with SRP and CAP to see what we can do to control the mussels."

    Mesa officials are examining a range of possible responses, spokesman Ian Satter said, including mechanically scrubbing pipes and other surfaces or dosing water with chlorine earlier in the process.

    Water for SRP's residential-irrigation system does not pass through treatment plants, flowing instead directly to homes in pipes and smaller canals. Although it's unlikely residents would ever see quaggas in their backyards, the mussels could choke pipes or gum up the gates used to divert water.

    Halting infestation

    Water from SRP and CAP canals also helps fill 14 of the 16 urban lakes located in city parks and occasionally replenishes Tempe Town Lake.

    Town Lake was stocked earlier this year with red-ear sunfish, a species sometimes known as shellcrackers and a predator of shellfish, said Nancy Ryan, Rio Salado Project manager. Biologists don't yet know if the sunfish can control a quagga infestation.

    Scientists also are unsure about how the mussels may change the chemistry or ecology of a small urban lake in a desert climate. Most recent studies focused on the Great Lakes, where mollusks from Eastern Europe were discovered in this country.

    "There will be some consequences," said Larry Riley, a biologist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. "Whether they will be dire ecological consequences is difficult to predict."

    Riley said conditions in the smaller urban lakes can be controlled. His agency works with parks departments to maintain sport-fishing populations and can advise communities if conditions start to change.

    Other solutions may emerge, such as a specific microbial toxin that would target quaggas. A California company is preparing to offer such a product, known as a biopesticide.

    The most effective approach is to slow the spread of quaggas on boats and other watercraft. Most scientists believe the first mussels that settled in the Colorado River arrived on a boat that had been in an infected lake in the upper Midwest.

    "Taking a few simple steps to clean, drain and dry gear can help a lot," Riley said. "By not paying attention, someone could make a mistake that threatens our waters."

    Pipe-clogging mussels arrive in Valley water

  3. #3
    Hellwoman Moderator
    Shawn Alladio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Mind Sweep

    Re: California Reminds Boaters: Don't move a mussel

    New boat inspection rules at Lake Tahoe take effect Saturday

    A requirement that boat ramps and launching facilities at Lake Tahoe be staffed with qualified aquatic invasive species inspectors takes effect on Saturday, Nov. 1, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency said today.

    The rules, approved by the TRPA Governing Board, make all watercraft subject to inspection by qualified personnel, and also require that vessels launching at the lake be decontaminated if inspectors determine that vessels pose a risk of infesting the lake with such invasives as the quagga or zebra mussels.

    Beginning Saturday and continuing through May 1, inspectors provided by the Tahoe Resource Conservation District are scheduled to be on duty daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather and water level permitting, at the Cave Rock ramp on the South Shore and the Lake Forest ramp near Tahoe City.

    Up-to-date information on ramp hours, lake conditions and procedures will be available through the winter by calling 1-888-TAHO-ANS or checking the web at www.protecttahoe.org <http://www.protecttahoe.org/>; .

    Other facilities with winter launch hours include Obexer’s Marina near Homewood, Tahoe Keys Marina in South Lake Tahoe, Sierra Boat Company (no ramp) in Carnelian Bay, and Ski Beach in Incline Village. Check with the individual facilities for current effective hours.

    The stepped up inspection and decontamination requirements were developed in the face of mounting concern that Lake Tahoe is at risk of invasion from the quagga and zebra mussel, New Zealand mud snail and other species.

    While other invasive and non-native plants, invertebrates and fishes are already in the Lake, these mollusks have the potential to unleash serious environmental and economic harm. They are carried between water bodies via watercraft that are not adequately cleaned, drained and dried.

    The ordinances require that the owners and operators of boat ramps and launches close their facilities when qualified aquatic invasive species inspectors are not present. To comply, gates have been installed at public and private ramps. The ordinances further require those launching to decontaminate their vessels if instructed to by an inspector. All vessels launching at Lake Tahoe are subject to inspection.

    Those wishing to launch personal watercraft such as kayaks or canoes will be able to do so at any facility where conditions are safe, but should expect to encounter inspectors where facilities are open. These watercraft also should be cleaned, drained and dried thoroughly before launching at Lake Tahoe.

    The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency cooperatively leads the effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region now and in the future. For additional information, call Dennis Oliver at (775) 589-5235, or email doliver@trpa.org .

  4. #4
    Top Dog mpipes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Lake Havasu City, AZ

    Re: California Reminds Boaters: Don't move a mussel

    Bacteria Found to Kill Quagga - http://www.havasunews.com/articles/2...4954095426.txt

    Bacteria found to kill quagga

    Friday, October 31, 2008 10:36 PM MST

    The Bureau of Reclamation is in the beginning stages of testing a treatment for invasive quagga mussels a bureau research scientist called “promising.”

    Fred Nibling said he has performed a preliminary test this summer at Davis Dam in which mussels were exposed to a dead form of Pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria, a non-infectious, non-parasitic microbe that occurs commonly in food, soil and water.

    Reclamation decided to test the bacteria after a report by a researcher at the New York State Museum that both zebra and quagga mussels died after ingesting it.

    “We are always looking for new, more effective techniques for managing mussels, and this one looks very safe and very promising,” Nibling said.

    The bureau’s initial test involved exposing mussels to the bacteria in jars. Nibling said the next test would be conducted in a 10- to 20-gallon aquarium under conditions that simulate water flowing through the dam. Nibling said in all cases the water used is disposed of through the dam’s evaporation pond and never enters the river.

    A third experiment will involve a domestic water intake line at the dam that’s currently encrusted with 2 to 3 inches of mussels.

    “We’ll have a series of tests where we’re going to be testing off-line, off the river, so we can have the data to where we can apply for the permits to test elsewhere,” Nibling said.

    If the product performs up to the bureau’s expectations in the series of small tests, Nibling said Reclamation might try to do a larger scale test, for instance involving a marina. Open water tests would require Environmental Protection Agency approval and depend on the cost and availability of large quantities of the bacteria.

    “Testing open water or testing a lake — that’s a real unknown at this time,” Nibling said.

    Before the product would be put into general use on the Colorado River, the bureau would meet with municipal public works and water authority officials, Nibling said.

    “We want to make sure they’re very comfortable and they have a chance to ask questions,” he said.

    New York State Museum researcher Daniel Molloy confirmed the effects of Pseudomonas fluorescens on the mussels in 1998. The museum patented the invention, and in March announced that the Davis, Calif., firm Marrone Organic Innovations had been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to commercialize the technology.

    According to Molloy’s research, when mussels ingest a high density of the strain CL145A of Pseudomonas fluorescens, a toxin inside the bacteria’s cells destroys the creatures’ digestive tract. Dead bacteria proved as deadly as live ones, indicating the mussels were being killed by the toxin and not an infection.

    Moreover, mussels readily feed on the bacteria, making it superior to a treatment like chlorine, which causes the mussels to close their feeding valves defensively.

    The research also found the bacteria caused no mortality in fish and other desirable, fresh-water organisms, including shellfish.

    Molloy performed tests of the bacteria at two power plants in New York State in 2007 and found 70- to 97-percent mortality in zebra mussels and 50- to 70-percent mortality in quagga mussels. The research also indicates the bacteria could be more effective in the warm, hard waters of the Southwest.

    Nibling said he contacted Molloy directly after hearing about the research from a government colleague. Molloy came to Davis Dam and discussed how the bacteria could be used there with bureau officials, and the bureau is still working closely with Molloy and Marrone in the testing phase.

    You may contact the reporter at dparker@havasunews.com.
    Mike Pipes

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