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I was just browsing the texas fishing forum. It seems very likely that we have introduced a new and nutritious food source for our fish, the zebra mussel. A few years ago in one of the south eastern states a guy caught a giant red ear sunfish [nick name=shell cracker]. It was more like a large mouth bass in size. Now a few years later I read in the texas fishing forum, that gaspergou [fresh water drum] red ear sunfish, striped bass, blue cats and rumors of other species are helping themselve to a new protein source.

As Dr. Malcolm said in Jurassic Park, "Nature will find a way". Oh, and by the way, all the drums have crushing pharyngial teeth in their throats and the gaspergou in question had crushed all the zebra mussel shells quite nicely. It seems to me that nature will restablish some kind of balance in the future.
 

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Just about every lake within a 50 mile radius of where I live part time in TX has zebra mussels. And the world hasn't come to an end. In fact fishing at most of these lakes is better than ever based on T results.

What seems to happen, is when z mussels first appear their population
explodes and they are under every rock you overturn. Then with a couple of years they go into a decline and about the only effect they seem to have on a lake is the water gets clearer. Have not heard any of the horror stories of them clogging intake valves, etc.

Their are so many boat ramps it is impossible to police boats that get out on the lake so all they have done is post a sign at the more popular marinas. That's it.

The sky is falling rhetoric just doesn't seem to be true.
 

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But think of all the jobs it created! I was down at Sanchez a few years back and they were checking boats even though non could even be launch due to low water.
 

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The biggest problem is all the lost opportunities and boating restrictions due to the Mussel program. Once gone we won't get them back.
 

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I really miss Sanchez-maybe the best pike fishing in CO back in the day. We would
catch dozens just throwing a buzzbait from the bank. The perch crashed and it became a lake of hammer handles.
 

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Keep in mind that lower elevation lakes tend to have too many nutrients, and therefore, mussels can be beneficial in some ways because they remove nutrients. Our lakes tend to have too few nutrients already, and therefore, mussels will make things worse by removing the few nutrients we have.

Just because rabbits are good and cute and tasty in most of the world does not mean they are good for Australia. Google "Rabbits Australia" to see how that great idea turned out. Or Lake Victoria and Nile Perch. I am not saying they are the same as mussels and Colorado, but I would prefer not to find out.
 

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Have not heard any of the horror stories of them clogging intake valves, etc.
Most of the problem is in the small pipes in the dams. Lake taps are used for unit cooling on generators and fire suppression. Basically those pies get plugged fast, so most places are installing redundant systems so one can be in rehab while the other is in service.

Large pipes, outlet works, the main problem is the shells can damage seals on gates and valves. Usually those are pretty easy to repair though. The pipes don't get choked off. Parker Dam is having issues with the trashracks getting plugged with mussels.

If you want to chase big red ear, Lake Havasu has a bunch.
 

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^^^The record shell cracker is bigger than the record small mouth at Havi. And We've caught 20 + sm over 4lbs in one day there ;)
 
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