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Mighty mussels

by Steve Bodinet

azfamily.com

Posted on September 11, 2009 at 7:40 PM

Mighty mussels are invading our beloved rivers and lakes. What can you do about it? So just what am I talking about?


The mussels are nasty little creatures known as Zebra mussels and Quagga mussels and they have made themselves at home in the Great Lakes and other bodies of water in the East and Midwest. They are little clam looking things that multiply by the millions. In fact, each batch of eggs is more than a million. They came from Eastern Europe by hitching rides on ships and now they're eating up everything that native fish live on. More bad news? They've made their way into Lake Mead and Lake Mohave on the Colorado River, where they are attaching to almost everything. Because Lake Pleasant is connected to the Colorado River through the Central Arizona Project canal, there's concern the invaders will end up there also. Arizona Game and Fish Department Biologists and Maricopa County workers are checking bouys, ropes, docks, almost everything in Pleasant to make sure they haven't already arrived. So what can we do? Be clean, that's the main thing. After boating in any body of water, scrub your boat and empty all the water from live wells, rope storage areas, etc. The mussels will hitch a ride in that water and you could end up planting them in a new lake or river. If they do get in your boat, your engine/motor can be ruined, cuz these things plug up intakes and cooling systems. I've seen pictures of motors covered in mussels, and you should see what they do to wildlife. Lobsters, back east, get covered and don't last long.
So, lets ZAP THE ZEBRA AND THE QUAGGA, as the Game and Fish slogan goes. Keep your boat clean and dry, and as we fight roof rats, west nile mosquitos, and other nasty out of staters, we can also take a swing at these might mussels before they make themselves at home in our home.

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