Zebra Mussels confirmed in Lake Murray, Oklahoma

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texdiveguy

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**Thanks to Timeliner for this information he found.


May 10, 2012

A service of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation


Lake Murray now home to large populations of invasive zebra mussels
Biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation say Lake Murray is now home to significant populations of zebra mussels, a non-native aquatic nuisance species that threatens the state's waters with invasion.
"Zebra mussels are a serious threat because they're not native, but yet they compete with native species for resources," said Curtis Tackett, aquatic nuisance species biologist for the Wildlife Department. "Along with harming populations of native aquatic wildlife, they can also damage water intake structures and clog up waterways."
Zebra mussels potentially pose a multi-billion-dollar threat to industrial and public water supplies. Through both downstream movement and transport by hitchhiking a ride on boats, zebra mussels have infested several lakes in Oklahoma, but only recently have they been discovered in south-central Oklahoma's Lake Murray.
According to Tackett, water samples collected at Lake Murray last spring turned up no evidence of zebra mussels in the Carter Co. lake, which demonstrates how quickly they spread.
"One female zebra mussel can produce up to one million offspring per year, and they can begin to reproduce within a few weeks of settling," Tackett said.
The adult mussels face little competition and few predators, and even those that are consumed by large fish can sometimes survive the digestion process and remain a threat even after being preyed upon and digested.
Zebra mussels can also be transported in their larval form through the movement of water from one lake to another, or on boats that leave one infested lake and enter another before being washed. Currently zebra mussels can be found in more than 20 lakes across the state.
According to Tackett, boaters can play an important role in halting the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic nuisance species by inspecting boats, trailers and equipment for the mussels or for mud, plant fragments, seeds and any other organisms from the water and removing them. They should also drain water from boats, motors, bilges, live wells, bait containers, coolers and ballasts. Finally, they can help by pressure washing boats, trailers and equipment with hot water (140 degrees). Tackett said if a boater is unable to pressure wash their equipment, they should allow it to dry thoroughly for at least five days before visiting a new body of water.
For more information about aquatic nuisance species or how to help halt their spread, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
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Biologists say non-native zebra mussels can be found in more than 20 lakes across Oklahoma, including Lake Murray in Carter Co. where populations have recently been documented. Zebra mussels are aquatic nuisance species that compete with native wildlife for resources.



News Contacts: Michael Bergin or Micah Holmes (405) 521-3856
Website: www.wildlifedepartment.com
E-mail: info@odwc.state.ok.us
 

Kunk35

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Your water is going to start clearing up. They are excellent filters.

I wish that were true. They don't seem to make a difference in Lake Texoma!

I hate those little boogers. My son sliced his foot on some while swimming a few years ago at Texoma. Man they are as sharp as knives!
 

texdiveguy

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Your water is going to start clearing up. They are excellent filters.

A VERY small price to pay......you should know that being in the GL's region. And yes they are very sharp....and about the only thing they will not totally cover is brass.
 

Jim Lapenta

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I do know that. Over 100 ft of vis at times at 110 feet. Usual is in the 40-60 range. Before they moved in people got excited if it was over 20.
 

Dr Dog

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They made a huge difference to Lake Erie. Which because of its location and size was one of the worst polluted water bodies. Yeah they clog up the pipes, but small price to pay, so you can get in water without worrying if you would have any skin left when you got out
 

TwoBitTxn

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This does have implications to the local divers. They compete for the primary food source of shad and forage fish which has upward implications on the food chain. We need to do our part in not spreading these things. Think about the way we can carry even small quantities of water in our equipment (BCs) and then make sure things are rinsed, DRAINED, and DRYED before diving a new body of water after diving Murray. Yes, boaters and their livewells have a much higher potential of moving the mussels from one place to another, but we need to be aware of the possible roles we play as well.


Due to Texas laws, the presence of Zebra mussels in Texoma has very SERIOUS implications on drinking water supplies.
 

Kunk35

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These little boogers are definitely everywhere there is a surface to attach to. I took several pics of them today.

---------- Post added May 20th, 2012 at 07:18 PM ----------

I've been reading about them online and I don't really understand what the fuss is about. I get that they clog up water inlets, but coating those with certain things have been found to curb them from attaching. I see that they can contaminate birds because they tend to hold toxins due to the fact they are efficient water filters. But they also have positive attributes. Among them, filtering and cleaning the water allowing more sunlight, deeper plant growth, which seems to actually increase certain fish populations.

It looks like there are good and bad with them. So why are they considered such an invasive species? I get that they tend to kill out other mussel species, but isn't that just the natural order of things? Stronger species overcomes the weaker?

Some would say that they aren't native to certain areas, so that is why they are considered invasive. But isn't cross contaminating part of the zebra mussels' survival adaptation?
 

Guba

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What you are saying, Kunk, is one side of every discussion concerning every instance of an invasive species moving in and thriving in an area. After all, it's arguable that the majority of successful species "invaded" from someplace and set up shop as superior adaptors, pushing out and perhaps pushing to extinction the indigenous species already in that environment.


However, to see just how passionate the arguments can be opposing this view all you have to do is go to Florida, the Bahamas, or anywhere else in the mid-Atlantic coastal areas and Caribbean and whisper these words, "The lionfish aren't really that bad."


Then stand clear and prepare yourself for the rather dynamic explosion of thought and dialogue. You might also watch out for a flurry of those little spears so many folks in that area have taken to carrying.


I'm not saying one side or the other is right or wrong. The passions just run very hot in both directions any time there is discussion of invasive species.
 

flots am

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I wish that were true. They don't seem to make a difference in Lake Texoma!

I hate those little boogers. My son sliced his foot on some while swimming a few years ago at Texoma. Man they are as sharp as knives!

They will. Just give them some time.

They're awesome for SCUBA.

flots.

---------- Post added May 20th, 2012 at 11:30 PM ----------

I've been reading about them online and I don't really understand what the fuss is about. I get that they clog up water inlets, but coating those with certain things have been found to curb them from attaching. I see that they can contaminate birds because they tend to hold toxins due to the fact they are efficient water filters. But they also have positive attributes. Among them, filtering and cleaning the water allowing more sunlight, deeper plant growth, which seems to actually increase certain fish populations.

It looks like there are good and bad with them. So why are they considered such an invasive species?

They're non-native, but it's not the end of the world.

Yes, they change the ecological balance of the lake, however that just makes it "different" not "worse".

Whatever you had before will be replaced with whatever you get next.

They're not actually a big problem, change just gets the "curator" type people who want to preserve everything, all worked up.

flots.
 
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