Re: NANFA-L-- A little mud never hurt anybody...

Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- A little mud never hurt anybody...
From: James Smith (
Date: Wed Aug 25 2004 - 23:12:51 CDT

Well put. I don't really have much to add as far as native competition goes
that Matt didn't say, but I did a research paper on zebra mussels and
milfoil in Lake Champlain (which is connected to the great lakes) in
college. While they are kinda neat in a lab because they can clean water so
fast, they are nasty little critters in a lake that they don't belong in!

If you want to talk about how they us directly, they like current so they
climb all over each other on effluent pipes and anything else that empties
into the lake, forming layers upon layers and eventually clogging it up.
They are super adhesive and hard to remove. This can cause things like
sewer plants or other nasty places backing up and overflowing directly into
the water as well as costing millions of dollars a year to control
chemically or remove.

Another thing is, they breed like nothing else I can think of as long as
they are in cold water. If they are in warmer water (above 60-65F or so),
they kinda hibernate or whatever you want to call it .. they do not grow,
eat, multiply, or anything and as such don't remove any pollution. Since
the many polluted areas also have warmer waters, they don't really help
much there. They reproduce in the winter and hibernate in the summer. Think
of them as the opposite of koi :)

While snorkeling in an infested area will give you a good view of how much
they take over, try wading in such an area as well. I would rather walk
through a slate quarry barefoot than over a zebra mussel bed. They slice up
your feet something nasty. While native mussels can do this too, they are a
lot bigger and you-in-least have a chance of your foot hitting the flat
part of the shell.

Sure, they make the water clearer, but so does bleach. It doesn't mean it's
a good idea :)


At 11:34 PM 8/25/2004, you wrote:
>I think people confuse lake erie today being revived when its not. If
>anything it went through a trophic regime shift and that is why you see
>the clearer water and a shift in the species communties and abundances.
>There is just as much if not more phosphorus in the lake....the ideology
>almost getting back to the pre CWA thinking of iff it looks clean it is.
>Cause it AINT. Half of the center is DEAD...>D E A D DEAD. Yes they took
>in alot of the pollution, but they also flat out covered native mussels,
>and habitats for mussels. On large shelled species like washboards
>heelsplitters and the like you can have a couple hundred zebras on a
>mussel thats 125cm + across. Simple thing most
>they outcompete exponentially....go snorkel or scuba dive sometime in lake
>erie in a nice zebra infested area...totally covered...yeah, in now way
>was lake erie revived.
>Lance Merry <> wrote:
>What negative effects do zebra mussels have on native mussels? From what I
>read after I looked through the bs is that zebras handle more popultion
>than any other mussel which would be a plus for everything poluted
>noadays. I think Lake Erie's revivement was a direct effect from
>accedental zebra mussel introduction.
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: Wed Sep 29 2004 - 12:24:23 CDT