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E-M:/ GLIN:/ Zebra Mussels in Michigan Inland Lakes

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Posted on behalf of Barb Lehman <lehman@msue.msu.edu>

Contact: Carol Swinehart
Mike Klepinger

        EAST LANSING, Mich. -- At least 100 of Michigan's inland lakes are
now infested with zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), according to
Michigan Sea Grant (MSG).  Over the past five years, MSG has received
360 reports on 186 lakes.
        Thirty-six more Michigan lakes were confirmed as infested in 1998.
Nine of the new infestations reported in 1998 were found by citizen
volunteers participating in the Sea Grant Zebra Mussel Monitoring
Program, which supported sampling on 39 lakes last year.  The other
27 infestation reports came from various sources on other lakes as
property owners and resource managers found adult colonies on boats,
docks, dams, water pumps and other equipment.
        Resource managers consider some of the state's lakes to be at
greater risk of infestation than others.  Large inland lakes with
public access and a high level of transient recreational boating
activity and those near infested waters are particularly vulnerable.
        Zebra mussels can contaminate lakes when boaters and anglers
unknowingly transport the clinging veligers (larvae) from infested
waters via boats, trailers and fishing equipment.

    Volunteer monitoring began in the spring of 1993 as a joint effort
between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the
Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc. (MLSA), and the Michigan
Sea Grant College Program (MSGCP).  Monitoring was designed to verify
predictions of the dispersal mechanisms, direction and rate of spread
of zebra mussels from the Great Lakes to Michigan's inland waters.

        Because Michigan has more than 10,000 inland lakes larger than
5 acres, resource managers can monitor only a few lakes and collect a
limited number of samples.  Citizen participation in sampling and
monitoring has greatly increased the number of lakes surveyed,
providing early detection of zebra mussel populations and saving
valuable time and resources, says Sea Grant Extension associate Mike
Klepinger.  This early warning allows lake managers and citizen groups
to erect signs at boat launches and develop volunteer programs for boat
inspections and cleanings.
        "The early detection of zebra mussel infestation helps prevent
damage to boats, beaches and, most importantly, the ecosystem of
Michigan's inland lakes," Klepinger says.
        The citizen monitoring program provides the training and equipment
necessary for individual citizens, public officials, school teachers,
lakefront owner groups and industrial site managers to detect the
mussel in its larval (veliger) stage using a plankton sampling method.
Sampling is performed boatside and must be done in water more than 18
feet deep.  The procedure takes roughly one hour and is repeated twice
during the summer to ensure accurate results.  The plankton samples,
which may contain microscopic mussel spawn, are sent to a laboratory
where biologists determine whether the water is infested.

        During the past three years, volunteers have been trained for
veliger sampling through Sea Grant's award-winning instructional video.
An accompanying illustrated handbook assists monitors in preparing
samples while aboard their vessels.  Both the video and the handbook
are included in the sampling kits that Michigan Sea Grant has
distributed on long-term loan throughout the state.

        For more information about citizen lake monitoring and zebra
mussels, visit <http://www.msue.msu.edu/seagrant/sgezmans.html> on the

        Michigan Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Michigan State
University and the University of Michigan in Great Lakes and marine
research, education and outreach.


        In 1998, zebra mussel populations were confirmed for the first
time in the following lakes:
                        County          Lake

                        Alpena          Four Mile
                                                Seven Mile
                        Barry                   Gun
                        Benzie          Crystal
                        Branch                  Coldwater
                        Calhoun                 Duck
                        Cass                    Baldwin
                                                Twin North
                                                Twin South
                        Cheboygan               Mullet
                        Genessee                Mott
                        Gladwin                 Secord (Titta)
                        Gladwin                 Smallwood (Titta)
                        Iosco           Cooke
                        Jackson                 Big Portage
                        Kent                    Dean
                        Lenawee                 Evans
                        Livingston      Chemung
                        Midland                 Sanford  (Titta)
                        Montcalm                Whitefish
                        Oakland                 Cedar (Stringy)
                                                Clear (Stringy)
                                                Long  (Stringy)
                                                Squaw (Stringy)
                                                Tan (Stringy)
                        Oceana          Silver
                        VanBuren                Banksons

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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