Invasive Mussel Control Science

Science Center Objects

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. rostriformis bugensis, respectively) are causing significant ecological and economic impacts and the scope of these impacts has increased as they continue to spread across North America. The USGS conducts science to inform management actions for controlling and mitigating the impacts of invasive mussels.  Studies include evaluation and field testing of various control technologies, and conducting research that aids in protecting and restoring native freshwater mussel species that are threatened by zebra and quagga mussels. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) database provides detailed information on these invasive mussels and their spread.   Zebra Mussel Factsheet    Quagga Mussel Factsheet

Zequanox Application Boats

(Public domain.)

New dreissenid mussel control tools are required to mitigate the impacts dreissenid mussels having on ecosystems, to restore critical habitats, to effectively conduct rapid response eradication actions, and to prevent the spread of dreissenids into previously un-invaded systems.

Field Trial: Non-enclosed Zequanox Applications for Controlling Zebra Mussels

UMESC scientists conducted four 0.30 hectare unbarriered open-water Zequanox applications July 27th. 

August 1, 2017 in Round Lake (Emmet County, MI). The applications were conducted to determine the use of the technique for controlling dreissenid mussels in high-value areas such as native mussel beds. The applications and environmental response assessments are a collaborative effort with the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Marrone Bio Innovations, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Columbus State University, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and Bowling Green State University. In addition to the conducting the applications, the USGS will monitor zebra mussel abundance and native unionid mussel health and project partners will evaluate water quality, aquatic insect, and algae community responses related to the Zequanox applications for a year after exposure (James Luoma, jluoma@usgs.gov).

Use of Electrical Fields for Zebra Mussel Control

James Luoma, Todd Severson, Jeremy Wise, Matthew Barbour (UMESC), and Jan Dean (Dean Electrofishing L.L.C.) evaluated the use of sinusoidal Alternating Current (AC) and 20% duty cycle square-wave Pulsed Direct Current (PDC) for controlling adult zebra mussels. The authors developed prediction regressions to estimate the peak dose (Joules/cm3) and applied power (kWh) required to achieve desired levels of zebra mussel mortality at water temperatures of 10, 15, and 22 °C. The results demonstrate that 20% duty cycle square-wave PDC requires less applied power (i.e. lower cost) than sinusoidal AC to inducing the same level of zebra mussel mortality. The paper "Management of Invasive Species in Inland Waters" is available online (James Luoma, jluoma@usgs.gov). 

Luoma, J.A., Dean, J.C., Severson, T.J., Wise, J.K., and Barbour, M.T. Use of alternating and pulsed direct current electrified fields for zebra mussel control. Management of Biological Invasions (2017) 8(3):311-324. DOI:10.3391/mbi.2017.8.3.05

Graph showing correlation of temperature along with time and mortality percentage

Mortality of zebra mussels that were continuously exposed to sinusoidal alternating current (left) and square-wave pulsed direct current (right) for 24, 48, and 72 hours at 10, 15, and 22 degrees Celsius.(Public domain.)