zebra mussels

Recent Stories

Great Lakes exports mussels, advice and reporter to Texas

A clump of invasive zebra mussels. (Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Clean, drain, dry is common advice among the Great Lakes boating community. Now it’s delivered with a southern drawl. The watercraft maintenance practice limits the spread of invasive species between lakes. And now it is used in Texas to limit the further spread of a Great Lakes menace threatening lakes in that state. Zebra mussels are again the target.  They entered the U.S. through the Great Lakes aboard freighters that inadvertently transported them from Eurasia. Continue Reading →

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Maps show spread of aquatic invasive species over time

This screen shot shows the spread of zebra and quagga mussels in 2006. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)

The Nature Conservancy has animated how six invasive species have spread across the Great Lakes over time. The group has created six maps that show population increase and spread since the appearance of each species in the Great Lakes basin and beyond. Sea lamprey, the first of the six invasive species to appear in the area, initially showed up in Lake Erie in 1921. The map shows the population of the fish expanding into the rest of the Great Lakes up until present day. Also included in the maps are Asian carp, zebra and quagga mussels, round goby, Eurasian Ruffe and black carp. Continue Reading →

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Invasive Species: Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussels, or "The Silent Strangler," have been named one of the five "usual suspects" doing damage in the Great Lakes basin. They get their name from the zebra-like stripes on their tiny shells, as seen above. (Image: The Nature Conservancy)


Zebra mussels are one of five aquatic invasive species that The Nature Conservancy has deemed “‘the usual suspects’ doing the most damage in the Great Lakes basin and beyond.”

Originally from Eastern Europe and western Russia, zebra mussels are the only freshwater mussels that can attach directly to other objects. They most likely have come over attached to the bottoms of ships. Once here, the mussels grow in population rapidly. Zebra mussels can produce 100,000 to 500,000 eggs per year, according to The Nature Conservancy. Nicknamed “the Silent Strangler,” these pests smother native freshwater mussels and kill plankton that some fish need to survive. Continue Reading →

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