Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Dread Zebra Mussel

It's a pleasant-looking place, but not all is well with Deep Quarry Lake at the West Branch Forest Preserve. Zebra Mussels have invaded. Signs all around the lake warned anglers not to participate in the species' invasion of North America.

"A small freshwater mollusk called the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), has been steadily invading America's rivers and lakes," says the National Atlas of the United States. "Zebra mussels originated in the Balkans, Poland, and the former Soviet Union. They first appeared in North America in 1988 in Lake St. Clair, a small water body connecting Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Biologists believe the zebra mussels were picked up in a freshwater European port in the ballast water of a ship and were later discharged into the Canadian side of Lake St. Clair."

Apparently they move in and take over, eating all the algae and other creatures that come their way. "Zebra mussels upset ecosystems, threaten native wildlife, damage structures, and cause other serious problems," the Atlas continues. "Millions of dollars are spent each year in attempting to control these small but numerous mollusks... Once zebra mussels become established in a water body, they are impossible to eradicate with the technology currently available. Many chemicals kill zebra mussels, but these exotics are so tolerant and tough that everything in the water would have to be poisoned to destroy the mussel."

Ah, another old commie plot still wreaking havoc.

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