Zebra Mussels at Pueblo! - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 01-17-2008, 08:26 PM  
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Default Zebra Mussels at Pueblo!

Recent sampling efforts between the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) and Colorado State Parks personnel detected the presence zebra mussels at Lake Pueblo State Park. Two adult mussels and one immature specimen were found on substrate sampling gear, and the larva (veliger) was found by performing plankton tows.

The DOW and Parks personnel have been conducting field sampling efforts for several years to evaluate waters across Colorado for the presence of aquatic invasive species. These efforts are targeted toward locating and monitoring potential introductions of invasive species that can be environmentally and economically detrimental to the state, its wildlife and recreation resources.

Additional sampling at Lake Pueblo State Park to determine the degree of infestation and exact mussel species is planned for this winter and spring. State Parks and the DOW are planning a concerted effort to notify recreational users at Pueblo Reservoir, and other state parks, about the potential impacts of zebra mussels.

The Pueblo State Fish Hatchery, which receives its water supply from Pueblo Reservoir, will undergo an assessment regarding options to prevent the spread of adult mussels and/or veligers. Sampling inspections have been conducted to determine if zebra mussels or larvae are present in the hatchery unit, to date none have been detected. Pueblo Hatchery raises a variety of warm and cold water species of fish (walleye, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, smallmouth bass, wiper, rainbow, cutthroat X rainbow hybrid, and brown trout) and distributes these fish across the state each year. No fish are planned to be stocked from the Pueblo Hatchery until April this year. Effective water treatment options exist to eliminate zebra mussel adults and/or veligers prior to the fish being stocked.

All boaters and other water craft recreational users should take simple, precautionary steps every time they go to a lake, river or stream.

Before leaving a lake or other waterway, always:

CLEAN the hull of your boat.

DRAIN the water from the boat, livewell and the lower unit of the engine.

DRY the boat, fishing gear, and equipment.

INSPECT all exposed surfaces.

REMOVE all plant and animal material.
Remember, many of these aquatic hitchhikers can harm your boat as well. These invaders will attach themselves to boats and can cause damage to boat motors if they block the flow of cooling water through the engine.

However, zebra mussels do not pose a known threat to human health. Biologists are concerned that zebra mussels may cause ecological shifts in the lakes they invade, with consequences to valued wildlife resources. Because these invasive mussels attach to hard surfaces like concrete and pipes, they will affect canals, aqueducts, water intakes and dams, resulting in increased maintenance costs for those facilities.

The zebra mussel gets its name from the black- (or dark brown) and white-striped markings that appear on its shell. Zebra mussels are native to the Caspian, Black, and Azov seas of Eastern Europe.
These exotic mussels were first discovered in the United States in Lake Saint Clair, Michigan, in 1988 and are believed to have been introduced in 1986 through ballast water discharge from ocean-going ships. Since their initial discovery, zebra mussels have spread rapidly throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basin states and other watersheds throughout the eastern and central United States.

The primary method of overland dispersal of these mussels is through human-related activities. Given their ability to attach to hard surfaces and survive out of water, many infestations have occurred by adult mussels hitching rides on watercraft. The microscopic larvae also can be transported in bilges, ballast water, live wells, or any other equipment that holds water.

They are primarily algae feeders. They feed by filtering up to a liter of water per day through a siphon. These mussels consume large portions of the microscopic plants and animals that form the base of the food web. The removal of significant amounts of phytoplankton from the water can cause a shift in native species and a disruption of the ecological balance a lake or other waterway.

These mussels can settle in massive colonies that can block water intake and affect municipal water supply and agricultural irrigation and power plant operation. In the United States, Congressional researchers estimated that zebra mussels alone cost the power industry $3.1 billion in the 1993-1999 period, with their impact on industries, businesses, and communities more than $5 billion.

For more information, visit www.100thmeridian.org.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

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Old 01-17-2008, 08:34 PM  
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Default Re: Zebra Mussels at Pueblo!

Aw crap...
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:43 PM  
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Default Re: Zebra Mussels at Pueblo!

YAAAY! I love fishing water that is super clear!
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:55 PM  
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Default Re: Zebra Mussels at Pueblo!

Based on what we have seen in the Great Lakes region with this issue, this is really bad news. It will spread for sure as it is almost a guarantee that some (and even most) people will not wash/clean their boats AND TRAILERS along with the other gear/items mentioned after each use in Pueblo.

Even shore fisherpersons should take note.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:41 PM  
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Default Re: Zebra Mussels at Pueblo!

:P I wonder how long it'll take before its into and overwhelming all the boatable lakes in the state ? :P
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:09 PM  
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Default Re: Zebra Mussels at Pueblo!

Originally Posted by Maynard G Krebs
:P I wonder how long it'll take before its into and overwhelming all the boatable lakes in the state ? :P
I think that really depends on how extensive the population at Pueblo is, and, more importantly, how quickly boaters and other visitors to Pueblo and other lakes realize that the only way to prevent the unwanted (and unintentional) transmission of the zebra mussels to new bodies of water is to thoroughly clean and dry your boat and equipment before going to a new body of water. Some states (e.g., WA) actually have criminal penalties for transporting aquatic nuisance species like zebra mussels...I don't think Colorado does, yet, but given that these guys can cause major damage to water delivery systems, I bet some kind of legislation will be coming.

This is definitely a case where anyone who uses the lake (or any other lake in CO) and who cares even a little bit should do everything they can to comply with the State Parks' and CDOW's request that they make sure that their boats really are free of the zebra mussels (or any other hitchhiker). It's a hassle, but I reckon it beats having our valuable fisheries and recreational areas (walking on zebra mussels has been compared to walking on broken glass) trashed by the mussels.

Here's a recent map put out by the Ecological Society of America in December 2007 showing the levels of vulnerability of different parts of the US to zebra mussel (and quagga mussel, a close relative) invasion. Take a look at how much of Colorado is at high risk. I'd say that the risk level for Colorado is even worse now.

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Old 01-17-2008, 11:22 PM  
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Default Re: Zebra Mussels at Pueblo!

I had heard terrible rumors about Z BRA MUSCLES at Pueblo earlier this year....Some people swore they'd seen them on several occasions...And now to find out they've been reproducing...Tragic...Just Tragic...!!!!


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Old 01-17-2008, 11:23 PM  
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Lived in Chicago and the N Burbs there the last 35yrs. The zebra mussels have wreaked havok all over, and pretty much obliterated the fishery on lake Michigan. In most places they are 100,000 per sq yard. Factories water intakes need to be scraped off daily, thats how quick they multiply! Used to bring home tons of big perch all the time as a kid, as well as smelt fishing in feb/march. Coho and King salmon.... you name the species. Since the arrival of the zebra mussels, its all over with. You'll be lucky to find smelt, the perch fishing is nearly gone, what was a big fleet of salmon charter boats now numbers a dozen or so.
They better jump on this critter real quick !! This is a prime example of why you need to clean up before you fish new water, as they were obviously introduced by somebody or something that didn't.

And Hobie.... that pic is just wrong!!!
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:28 PM  
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Default Re: Zebra Mussels at Pueblo!

Hobie I will get that bra back to you...thats pretty funny...z violated again...I have been violated more than Bronco defensive coordinators...
Senate grants trump access to Senate floor by allowing babies under 1 year old the right to visit! Wonder if McConnell will clean his dirty nappy?
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:29 PM  
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Default Re: Zebra Mussels at Pueblo!

Originally Posted by zman
Hobie I will get that bra back to you...thats pretty funny...z violated again...I have been violated more than Bronco defensive coordinators...

"Love the Life you Live, Live the Life you Love"
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