Assessment of Laboratory Methods to Investigate Dreissenid Mussel Veliger Settling in Imhoff Cones Through Dense Organic Material
Dreissena rostriformis bugensis and Dreissena polymorpha (quagga and zebra mussels) are freshwater mussels that grow to just under an inch in size. They are prolific, live 3-5 years, and are filter feeders that can consume so much phytoplankton they change the ecology and alter the food web in waters they establish in. They are indigenous to Eastern Europe and entered the Great Lakes in the 1980's, by ships discharging their ballast water. Quagga mussels made their way to the western US presumably by way of recreational watercraft and were found established in Lake Mead in 2007. They have since established populations in several other reservoirs including Lakes Powell, Havasu, Pleasant, and other reservoirs in AZ, TX, and OK. They permanently settle on hard or soft substrates and specifically threaten Reclamation's mission when they settle on infrastructure or mechanical equipment related to reservoir maintenance or hydropower causing thousands of dollars in damage and the need for treatment. They also clog waterways, impede water flow and reduce water quality.
Once invasive mussels establish, they are nearly impossible to eradicate. Watercraft inspections and decontamination are mandatory at most state regulated water bodies to prevent movement of mussels from infested waters to non-infested waters. This project will determine if mussel veligers can settle through water samples that are exceptionally dense or thick.
Need and Benefit
This project will optimize existing methods for invasive species detection, including sample collection and analysis,
molecular methods, or others.
Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.
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.
Assessment of Laboratory Methods to Investigate Dreissenid Mussel Veliger Settling in Imhoff Cones Through Dense Organic Material (final, PDF, 3.9MB)
By Rheannan Quattlebaum
Report completed on September 30, 2021