If you have been around the water and found a conical shaped shell that has stripes, you probably picked up one of these little guys. These mussels can wreak havoc on a fishery, or aquatic ecosystem. The Zebra Mussel arrived in North America around the 1980s in the Great Lakes. Since then sightings of zebra mussels have traveled all the way to Texas and many other states along the Mississippi River.
What are Zebra Mussels?
Zebra Mussels are a small mollusk that normally grows up to only 1.5 inches. They have distinct stripes that form on their shell over time. These striped bandits cause millions of dollars in damage, and pose a threat to our ecosystems. One single Zebra Mussel can produce up to 1 million larvae… these numbers can get out of hand quick if not taken care of properly. These mussels will attach themselves in numbers to a host and suffocate it. They can work their way into water filtration systems, boat motors, and even cause water buoys to sink!
Ways to Combat Zebra Mussels
Clean, Drain, and Dry your boat. This is a preventative measure that helps stop the transportation of Zebra Mussels. We as fishermen, and water enthusiasts have to take action to stop this invasive species from destroying our fresh water sources. Take a few moments to properly drain the water from your boat, and motor before leaving the ramp. This small action can make a big difference. Please do your part in preserving our waters.