- Quagga and Zebra Mussels
Quagga and Zebra MusselsTwo species of dreissenid mussels, Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) and Dreissena rostriformis “bugensis” (quagga mussel), have become established in freshwater lakes, reservoirs, and rivers in the United States. Invasive dreissenid mussels pose significant challenges for Reclamation and all agencies and industries that manage water. Invasive mussels are prolific breeders and settle on or within water facility infrastructure such as water intakes, gates, diversion screens, hydropower equipment, pumps, pipelines, and boats. Infested water and hydropower infrastructure can fail or choke off water transmissions. Invasive mussels negatively impact the natural ecology, which can be detrimental to native and endangered species, including native fisheries.
Maintaining and operating water supply and delivery facilities, water recreation, and other water dependent industries and economies in mussel infested water bodies are dramatically more expensive and complex. Public recreation may also be severely impacted by mussel infestations, from shell fragments degrading swim beaches to increased requirements and cost for boaters to have their watercraft inspected and decontaminated, and potential impacts on populations of game fish.
Safeguarding the West
In 2017, the Department of the Interior released a package of actions and initiatives developed through collaboration with western governors and federal, state and Tribal agencies to protect areas in the West from the economic and ecological threats posed by invasive mussels.
More than 70 federal, state and tribal entities came together to develop 41 action items to develop the document, Safeguarding the West from Invasive Species.
In 2018, a progress report was issued that highlights efforts since the initial report was released to prevent, contain, and control invasive mussels in the West. This includes investments of an additional $1 million in Fiscal Year 2017 and $4 million by the Bureau of Reclamation in 2018.
- Fact Sheet