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

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about 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 (final, PDF, 3.7MB)
By Josh Mortensen
Report completed on May 13, 2014

Quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis) and to a lesser extent, zebra mussels (D. polymorpha), have become established in the western United States. Quagga mussels were first discovered in Lake Mead, lower Colorado River, in 2007, are now widespread in the lower Colorado River basin, including water diversion canals, and are beginning to be detected in other river basins in the west. Two types of screens are being tested, Hydrolox and wedgewire.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20