Invasive Mussels

Science Center Objects

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels (collectively called dreissenid mussels) are causing significant ecological and economic impacts and the range of these impacts continues to increase as they spread across North America. Dreissenids affect industrial and municipal infrastructure, recreational water users, and they severely alter aquatic ecosystems. USGS has been conducting dreissenid mussel control and rapid response research in the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River basins for several years including evaluating the application of targeted molluscicides, assessing the effects of molluscicides on non-target species, and developing genetic tools for dreissenid mussel detection.

In 2016, the first detection of dreissenid mussel larvae was documented in Montana. This detection triggered the launch of the DOI Invasive Mussel Initiative to identify opportunities for the federal government to strengthen efforts, in coordination with states and tribes, to address invasive mussels in the Columbia River Basin and across the West. In support of this effort, the USGS evaluated genetic markers for dreissenid mussel early detection and is working to improve environmental DNA sampling and analysis protocols. USGS work also included the development of a variety of risk-based, early detection monitoring plans in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

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Zebra Mussels

Zebra Mussels (Public domain.)

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)

More information about GLRI projects is available from the links below.

 

Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center (UMESC)

More information about UMESC projects is available from the links below.

Quagga mussels and deepwater sculpin collected from a benthic trawl near Grand Haven, Michigan by the USGS R/V Sturgeon

Quagga mussels and deepwater sculpin collected from a benthic trawl near Grand Haven, Michigan by the USGS R/V Sturgeon. (Public domain.)

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