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Testing ability of widely used fish screens to resist quagga mussel fouling

Project ID: 4923
Principal Investigator: Cathy Karp
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Priority Area Assignments: 2013 (Zebra and Quagga Mussels)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2013
Keywords: fish screens, quagga mussel fouling

Research Question

Quagga mussels and possibly zebra mussels have become established in portions of the western United States. They were first discovered in Lake Mead, lower Colorado River, in 2007 and since have been posittively identified in other river systems. Our question is: How well can exisiting fish screen systems function in mussel infested water, and what modifications are necessary so that water can be diverted, fish ?

Need and Benefit

Many sizes and types of fish screens are in place or are being considered for installation in the western United States. However, increasing presence of the invase quagga mussel may make these screens inoperable because they could clog the screen openings. The testing and determination of combinations of screen type, screen coating, and cleaning mechanism is must be developed before these mussels become more widespread.

Contributing Partners


Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Progress Report on Testing of Commonly used Fish Screens for their Resistance to Invasive Freshwater Mussel Fouling (interim, PDF, 3.7MB)
By Cathy Karp and Josh Mortensen
Report completed on September 30, 2013

Quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis) have become established in the western United States and were first discovered in Lake Mead, lower Colorado River, in 2007. Our objective was to test the ability of 2 commonly used fish screen systems, a cylindrical, stainless steel wedgewire screen (Intake Screens, Inc.), and a vertically traveling nylon screen (HydroloxTM; Bureau of Reclamation 2006), to resist fouling by quagga mussels.
Keywords: quagga mussel, fish screen

This information was last updated on April 24, 2014
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