Water quality report regarding the health of ponds in Nantucket published.
Collaborative research effort with DFWI's Keck Water Research Lab
Cloaked in a delicate brown and cream striped shell and measuring a mere inch in length, the zebra mussel certainly doesn’t look ominous.
This tiny invasive species, however, has wreaked havoc in waterways across Europe and North America.
Scientists and municipalities in affected areas struggle with how to eradicate the mussels quickly without causing wide-scale damage to the surrounding ecosystem by using harmful pesticides or other damaging chemicals to remove the mussels.
A recent zebra mussel eradication program led by scientists at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute is now providing a promising example of how zebra mussel populations can be successfully controlled without damaging the natural ecosystem.
Graduate Student and DFWI researcher Jeremy Farrell sampling through the ice on Lake George, NY in February 2011 (photo: Brian Keleher)
Anthony F. Hall
First discovered in Lake George last August, Asian clams could be eliminated from the lake by the start of this summer.
A $350,000 dollar eradication effort will begin in April, the Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force has announced.
“We believe this effort will greatly reduce the numbers of these invasive clams to the point where they can be eradicated with subsequent treatments, or eliminated altogether,” said Dr. Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer, director of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute and a member of the Task Force.
According to Nierzwicki-Bauer, benthic barriers will be installed across a 3.25 acre area in Lake George Village where the infestation is largely concentrated.
“Benthic barriers will cut off oxygen supplies and suffocate the clams over a 45-day treatment period,” said Nierzwicki-Bauer.
The Task Force conducted a pilot study last fall to determine the best method of eradicating the clams.
“The goal of the pilot project was to assess four different mat types, and based on effectiveness, cost and ease of installation and maintenance, we selected the type of benthic mat that will be used this spring,” said Nierzwicki-Bauer.
“Without proper experimental design, data collection, and analysis, we would have been taking an educated guess at what to do, based on experiences in other lakes,” said Nierzwicki-Bauer. “It was therefore important to spend the time and money on the pilot study.”
In addition to installing benthic mats, the Task Force will also employ...
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