Arkansas River Basin Water Forum: Invasive mussels update

A picture named arkansasriverbasin.jpg

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“We’ve not seen the adults [quaggas/zebra mussels], just the veligers (larvae),” said Elizabeth Brown, invasive species coordinator for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. “We’re on the cutting edge of doing the testing to find them.” Brown spoke this week at the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum, held at Colorado State Univer- sity-Pueblo. Last year, evidence of mussels was found in seven Colorado reservoirs and lakes after they were first detected in Lake Pueblo in January 2008. A total of 102 bodies of water were tested, which means that boat inspection programs or closures of some lakes were successful in stopping mussels from spreading further than they have, Brown said. “The mussels move from body to body of water primarily by boats,” she said…

Brown speculated that more adults have not been found because the zebra and quagga mussels are mainly populating the sediments at the bottom of lakes…

At Pueblo, there were 67 plankton tows, mostly performed by a team led by Colorado State University biology professor Scott Herrmann. The samples were tested at the university, by the Bureau of Reclamation and by the Division of Wildlife. Wildlife found that 70.8 percent of the samples tested positive, with anywhere from one to 76 veligers found in each of the positive samples. The DNA of the veligers was tested as well, showing that both zebra and quagga mussels have breeding population in the lake.

Reclamation last year completed a risk assessment of Lake Pueblo, finding that because of fluctuations in water, dissolved oxygen levels do not favor large outbreaks of mussels. Water providers are wary, however. The Pueblo Board of Water Works is making $1 million in upgrades to its intake system because of the threat.

More invasive species coverage here and here.

Leave a Reply