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The spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels poses threats to water resources and water-resource infrastructure. Water-resource agencies such as the Bureau of Reclamation need cost-effective monitoring methods to provide early detection for immediate response.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques have proven effective for identifying the presence of specific aquatic species in water bodies. Partnering with the Bureau of Reclamation, USGS scientists from several states collaborated on a pilot study to evaluate the integration of eDNA sample collection at USGS streamgage stations downstream of Reclamation dams. USGS hydrologic technicians collected water samples for eDNA analysis as part of their regular streamgage visits.
The methods and results of the pilot study were published in the journal Ecosphere, and the data were made publicly available through the USGS ScienceBase Catalog.
In a related study, USGS scientists from the Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center and the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center deployed an environmental sample processor, a "lab in a can" at our streamgage station on the Snake River near Irwin, Idaho.
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