Collection and Analysis of Invasive Mussel Samples to Prevent the Spread and Impacts at Reclamation Reservoirs and Facilities

Project ID: 22063
Principal Investigator: Diane Mench
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Funded Fiscal Years: 2022, 2023 and 2024
Keywords: None

Research Question

Will the early detection of invasive dreissenid mussels assist with limiting the spread of mussels to additional Reclamation managed waterbodies and allow hydropower plant managers to implement control measures before significant ZM/QM impacts occur?

We hypothesize that the collection and analysis of invasive mussel early detection samples will provide critical information about new dreissenid mussel populations that will allow waterbody managers to implement WID stations and other measures to prevent the spread of mussels to additional waters. Most western states have WID programs that can assist with containment of invasive mussel populations. If managers do not know where mussel populations exist, they will not be able to successfully prevent the spread of that population on recreational watercraft. Therefore, the information gained from this early detection effort will allow managers to set up decontamination programs and allocate resources to locations where mussels are detected. The information gained from this effort will also provide managers at Reclamation hydropower plants time to prepare for potential impacts of a mussel infestation. Detection of a mussel population in the early stages of establishment can allow for three to five years of advanced notice before the mussel infestation begins to have significant impacts at hydropower plants. This early warning allows managers the time to conduct mussel facility vulnerability assessments and select and procure preventative control treatments.

Need and Benefit

The Eco Lab will utilize sample collection, preservation, preparation, microscopy, and genetic analysis methods that are continually being optimized to detect invasive mussels in complex water samples from across Reclamation's regions. This research proposal was developed with Sherri Pucherelli, and she has confirmed that all Regional Task Force representatives indicated that mussel early detection is needed to support their efforts to prevent the spread and impact of invasive mussels.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20