Great Lakes scourge infects West – Quagga Mussels Cross the Great Divide

Quagga mussels are clogging Hoover Dam, colonizing lakes, rivers

By Dan Egan of the Journal Sentinel
Lake Mead, Nev. – It took some of America’s best engineers, thousands of laborers and two years of around-the-clock concrete pouring to build the 726-foot-high Hoover Dam back in the 1930s. It took less time than that for the tiny, brainless quagga mussel to bring operators of this modern wonder of the world to their knees.

. . .
Zebra and quagga mussels have been making a particular mess of the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy since they were discovered in the late 1980s. The filter-feeding machines have cost this region billions of dollars by plugging industrial water intake pipes, starving fish populations and spawning noxious algae outbreaks that have trashed some of the Midwest’s most prized shoreline.For nearly two decades the western U.S. was spared this havoc.No more.
The first quagga mussel west of the Continental Divide was discovered on Jan. 6, 2007. It was likely a stowaway hiding on the hull or in the bilge water of a Midwestern pleasure boat pulled across the Great Plains, over the Rockies and down a boat ramp at Lake Mead near Las Vegas, where a marina worker found some suspicious shells clinging to an anchor.

Click on Title link to view entire article. Thanks to Jane Dauffenbach of Aquarius Systems for the submission.

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