The Don’t Move a Mussel muscle shirts have been a big hit.
“They’ll clump on rock, they’ll clump in pipe, and they’ll clump mussel-next-to-mussel-atop-mussel in astonishing congregations of as many as 70,000 individuals a square foot” – Sue McGrath
It’s hard to get people excited about invisible threats that haven’t arrived yet, but sometimes that’s what you have to do.
Let’s make a list of undesirable things: salmon extinctions, toxic algae blooms, beach closures, clogged water intakes and storm drains, botulism toxin… The unpleasantries associated with the small but numerous zebra and quagga mussels are many and varied. Continue reading
“In conclusion…there is a high risk of [zebra mussels] not only surviving in some parts of Okanagan Lake, but a high potential for massive infestations.” – Gerald L. Mackie, 2010
Sometimes we need to do environmental triage – focusing on what’s most important, and what approaches are likely to succeed.
When water conditions are right, zebra mussels reproduce rapidly and can completely cover the shells of native mussels.
Lately I’ve been trying to get a better understanding of the situation with mussels in the lakes. There are two of immediate concern – a species native to the Okanagan, the Rocky Mountain ridged mussel, on the verge of local extinction, and an invasive – the zebra mussel, which is spreading rapidly across North America and heading this way.
These species are an example of how we grapple with management approaches and trade-offs, and the best course for protecting biodiversity for the whole ecosystem. Continue reading